Basil Brush meets Chairman Mao ??

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Clive
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Basil Brush meets Chairman Mao ??

Post by Clive »

Surely this is incorrect ?

Basil Brush went to China in 1973 and interviewed Chairman Mao ?

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/arti ... ammes.html

I have never heard anything about this before and find no details beyond of this Daily Mail article.

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Ian Wegg
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Re: Basil Brush meets Chairman Mao ??

Post by Ian Wegg »

Yes, a very enlightening article. Some other previously unknown gems in there too. Good old Daily Mail (surely a few weeks early with this one?)

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stearn
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Re: Basil Brush meets Chairman Mao ??

Post by stearn »

"On ITV at peak time on a Saturday"?

As has been said, an obvious April Fools article that someone launched early.

Clive
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Re: Basil Brush meets Chairman Mao ??

Post by Clive »

Aha! My fault for not reading the rest of the article and realizing it was a parody...

But then, a pretty pointless bit of writing...

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Re: Basil Brush meets Chairman Mao ??

Post by Brock »

Clive wrote:
Tue Feb 16, 2021 12:18 pm
Aha! My fault for not reading the rest of the article and realizing it was a parody...
Did "Great British Railway Journeys: From Uxbridge To Hillingdon" really not give it away?

Craig Brown is an extremely well-known satirist. He's written the "Diary" column in Private Eye for over thirty years, and has had various spoof columns in the Guardian, Independent on Sunday and several other publications. I didn't know that he was now writing for the Mail as well.

He's had a few series on Radio 4, and he's also written for TV from time to time. I think one of his best works was Norman Ormal: A Very Political Turtle, in which Harry Enfield played a particularly disreputable Tory MP, along with several other Tory ex-cabinet ministers.

Clive
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Re: Basil Brush meets Chairman Mao ??

Post by Clive »

Did "Great British Railway Journeys: From Uxbridge To Hillingdon" really not give it away?
Not being from London, no ! ;-)

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stearn
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Re: Basil Brush meets Chairman Mao ??

Post by stearn »

A single stop, but the original Uxbridge station was replaced with the current one and the track alignment disappeared under sidings - possibly an interesting half hour programme if anyone wished to make it. It being a short run is not obvious to anyone who isn't local or who has an interest in railways and it follows the formula of 'here to there', most of which would be unknown to the casual viewer.

Whilst the article is obviously spoof, it seems odd timing as it would have worked so much better if it had been in April. Perhaps they are saving Boris becomes Queen headline for 1/4/21.

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Re: Basil Brush meets Chairman Mao ??

Post by Brock »

stearn wrote:
Tue Feb 16, 2021 1:58 pm
Whilst the article is obviously spoof, it seems odd timing as it would have worked so much better if it had been in April.
But Craig Brown's a satirist. That's what he does - he writes satirical pieces for newspapers, all year round. There wouldn't be much work for him if he could only write them once a year.

April Fool's Day is different. That's when newspapers try to disguise satirical pieces as genuine news articles. There was no attempt in that column to make it appear as anything other than satire.

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stearn
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Re: Basil Brush meets Chairman Mao ??

Post by stearn »

Was it really satire? It seemed more like schoolboy humour to me. Perhaps satirical standards have dropped and we can expect a lot more like filler this. With fake news most definitely at the forefront these days, and research only being cursory in many cases, I would have thought any publication would have exercised caution even if it was only meant for giggles. Is the Mail renown for its satirical pieces? I have to admit, the printed daily press hasn't been on my radar for a number of years.

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Re: Basil Brush meets Chairman Mao ??

Post by Brock »

stearn wrote:
Tue Feb 16, 2021 3:19 pm
Was it really satire? It seemed more like schoolboy humour to me.
Clearly not a Private Eye reader then...
Is the Mail renown for its satirical pieces? I have to admit, the printed daily press hasn't been on my radar for a number of years.
Looking back through Craig Brown's recent columns for the Mail, I find some "straight" ones, but plenty like this:

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/arti ... blues.html

I can't believe that anyone who'd been reading his columns for any appreciable length of time would think that he was a serious writer.

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stearn
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Re: Basil Brush meets Chairman Mao ??

Post by stearn »

No, not an Eye reader, nor a Mail reader either. As he has been a columnist for a while I'm sure the Mail readership will have spotted it was tongue in cheek immediately. I was aware of Brown (1966 and all that immediately sprung to mind) but haven't listened to his more recent series.

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Ian Wegg
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Re: Basil Brush meets Chairman Mao ??

Post by Ian Wegg »

Surely humour has to be topical to be considered satire. The final item referencing Handforth Parish Council might conceivably fit the definition - and perhaps the Michael Portillo piece at a stretch - but the rest is hardly contemporary and all seems a bit stale to me I'm afraid. The swipe at Sandi Toksvig being in awe at the size of the U.S.A. seems to particularly miss the mark given that she was brought up in New York.

Like others, my exposure to the press has been very low for years so maybe it's me who is out of touch.

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stearn
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Re: Basil Brush meets Chairman Mao ??

Post by stearn »

It is Daily Mail readers that are always accused of living in the past? Perhaps that makes everything current and satirical!

Clive
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Re: Basil Brush meets Chairman Mao ??

Post by Clive »

Well, I do think it was mis-represented as satire on the Daily Mail website where the title "Brush with Basil that charmed Chairman Mao... the five greatest celebrity travel programmes of all time" immediately piqued my interest. Entering the article and seeing a picture of Michael Portillo, I genuinely enjoyed his 'Great Railway Journeys' and landing on the Basil Brush bit I did not immediately recognize the satire. If I had read down to the Handforth Parish council, I would have.

Plus, with Private Eye, the satire is in a defined area of the paper, separated from the genuine news and journalism. Not dumped in between serious (well Daily Mail serious) news articles.

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Re: Basil Brush meets Chairman Mao ??

Post by Brock »

Clive wrote:
Tue Feb 16, 2021 6:03 pm
Well, I do think it was mis-represented as satire on the Daily Mail website where the title "Brush with Basil that charmed Chairman Mao... the five greatest celebrity travel programmes of all time" immediately piqued my interest. Entering the article and seeing a picture of Michael Portillo, I genuinely enjoyed his 'Great Railway Journeys' and landing on the Basil Brush bit I did not immediately recognize the satire. If I had read down to the Handforth Parish council, I would have.
Well I suppose if you scrolled past the rest of it, you'd have missed things like "Having exhausted every other train journey in the world, Michael Portillo travels from the first stop on the Metropolitan Line of London's famous underground system for several hundred yards to the second" and "In this six-part series T.S. Eliot teams up with Liverpool lass Cilla Black for a 'lorra laffs' as the two of them go fishing on the Isle of Man".

But even in the Basil Brush piece itself, didn't this ring any warning bells?
Craig Brown wrote:'There was always a much more serious side to Basil,' recalls his contemporary Sooty, one half of the distinguished glove-based comedy duo Sooty and Sweep. 'He was well-loved as a fox with an infectious laugh, but he was so much more than that. One would regularly catch him backstage reading Jung and Freud, and he was a serious collector of the works of Frida Kahlo and Jackson Pollock.'
Quite apart from anything else, everyone knows that Sooty can't speak except by whispering in the puppeteer's ear...

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stearn
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Re: Basil Brush meets Chairman Mao ??

Post by stearn »

Brock wrote:
Tue Feb 16, 2021 6:44 pm
Quite apart from anything else, everyone knows that Sooty can't speak except by whispering in the puppeteer's ear...
Are you auditioning for a column somewhere?

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Re: Basil Brush meets Chairman Mao ??

Post by Brian F »

I'm sure I saw an Uxbridge to Hillingdon video on You Tube from someone who does them about every odd thing on the underground, Perhaps the writer saw that - I'm sure it lasted all of 5 minutes.

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Re: Basil Brush meets Chairman Mao ??

Post by brigham »

I'm impressed.
Looking out for Craig Brown now...

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