Well-respected puppet stand-up comedian Basil Brush has been admitted to a private clinic for surgery to his anus. The entertainer's agent said that the anthropomorphic fox raconteur, whose catch phrase "Boom boom" is well-known up and down the country, is sitting up in bed and entertaining nurses and other patients with his sharp wit.
Basil's career was at its peak during the 1970s when he appeared with a variety of sidekicks, including Derek Fowlds, whose struggling career he helped to promote, resulting in Fowlds subsequently going on to star in "Yes Minister" and "Heartbeat". After being off the air for two decades, he made a comeback in 2002, in a children's show, which has been universally panned by critics.
One TV expert told us: "Basil was compulsory viewing in the 1970s and early 1980s. He had his own show and was given really classy material. He even had his own sidekick. Now he's a sidekick to a bunch of bedwetting kids and his material is lamentably unfunny. Even his voice has changed."
A consultant proctologist at the hospital told our reporter: "Basil's rear cavity has undergone trauma over the past 3 decades, with countless assistants sticking their hand and sometimes whole arm inside it. This has caused stretching of the rectal muscles, anal fissures, fecal incontinence and tragically, rectal collapse.
"Basil is now in surgery for rectal reconstruction. The new rectum will be weaker than his original one and he must treat it with care. Otherwise, there is a danger that it may collapse as well."
This writer, who has fond childhood memories of Basil Brush at the peak of his career, offers this advice to the ageing comedian: Tell your assistant to get his hand out of your arse before it goes boom boom!