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Thursday, 19 October, 2000, 08:09 GMT
Voice of Basil Brush dies
Basil Brush
Basil Brush is to star in his own sitcom
The man who gave Basil Brush his distinctive "Boom Boom" voice has died after a long battle with cancer.

Ivan Owen, who was 73, created Basil, along with Peter Firmin, for a children's puppet show in 1964.


Dad can leave Basil with a whole generation

Michael Owen

Basil was originally intended as a sidekick to another puppet, Spike McPike, but the well-spoken fox soon took centre stage himself.

Ivan Owen once said of his creation: "I thought it would be nice to have a county fox - and Basil's a frightfully good Counties name, don't you think?"

Basil Brush is now being lined up for a TV return after a break of nearly 20 years.

Entertainment Rights, the company which owns the puppet, has confirmed they are developing a sitcom, Foxed, to be aired next year.

They plan to make six half-hour episodes of Foxed.

International hit

After Basil's first appearance in The Three Scampis he proved to be such a hit that five years later he was given his own TV show on BBC One.

The series was broadcast in 14 countries and regularly attracted audiences of up to 13 million.

Basil was dropped by the BBC in 1981 in a row over programme slots, but returned to co-host the Crackerjack show with Stu Francis.

In May this year Basil made a special guest appearance at the Loaded magazine awards, picking up a lifetime achievement prize.

A spokeswoman for Entertainment Rights said: "There are no plans that we know of for a member of Ivan's family to take over his mantle of puppeteer.

"We have a series in development at the moment with Basil Brush, a sitcom, which we are hoping will go out on air in the New Year."

It was revealed last month that Ivan Owen was dying of cancer and might not live to see the new show broadcast.

His son, Michael, said: "Dad can leave Basil with a whole generation."

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See also:

14 Aug 00 | Entertainment
Boom time for Basil Brush
08 May 00 | Entertainment
Basil Brush boom-booms back
30 Jul 99 | The Company File
Brush flush after 1.7m deal
17 May 99 | Entertainment
Made in the 70s, still going strong
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