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Basil Brush returns – at last!

BBC controller of children's television Nigel Pickard has finally greenlit the long-awaited return of 1960s kids' puppet Basil Brush, after a commission for Entertainment Rights for the new kids' channel CBBC.

Entertainment Rights, which owns the Basil Brush rights, and The Foundation are to coproduce 26 half-hours of what they are calling {a modern-day sitcom{ starring the diminutive fox glove-puppet, with his trademark cheeky sense of humour and {boom-boom{ catchphrase.

The live-action series has Mr Brush flat-sharing with an aspiring young entertainer, in a format that allows cameo appearances from other celebs and guest stars. Each episode will be a mix of comedy, drama and entertainment, geared to CBBC's 6-13 year-old audience.

The first 13 episodes of the show will air this autumn, in a weekly 16:30 or 17:00 slot. Production starts this May, with UK outfit The Foundation handling production. Entertainment Rights hold international rights to the show and will target English-speaking territories first, says an ER spokeswoman.

The Basil Brush character first appeared on UK screens in 1964 in Rediffusion's The Three Scampis, and later was a regular in David Nixon's kids' show Now for Nixon.

He later secured his own show with a variety of straight men, called The Basil Brush Show (60×30'). After the BBC axed the series, he appeared on various programmes in the ITV Border and Granada regions. Entertainment Rights picked up rights to the character two years ago.

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