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Arf-arf! Having a laugh with Basil ...

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Katie Derham Katie Derham | 13:22 UK Time, Wednesday, 26 January 2011


Picture of Katie Derham with Basil Brush. Photo: Philip Mattison


There is a common paranoia throughout the TV and radio industry around the time of Comic Relief … am I really being asked to do something for charity, or am I the victim of a childish but highly elaborate gag? I’ve got to confess: when Radio 3 suggested I’d do some filming with Basil Brush and a load of Kazoos, I could picture a bunch of 20-something comedy writers sniggering over their laptops and lattes...

But sometimes real life in broadcasting becomes blissfully surreal, and so it was that last Sunday morning I arrived at studio 80a in Broadcasting House, scene of fabulous musical performances every day on Radio 3’s In Tune … to be greeted by the eponymous fox, and ten glamorous young lovelies in highly camp white shiny uniforms, practising their instruments, and calling themselves 'Masters of the Kazooniverse'.

For those of you unfamiliar with this particular instrument, a Kazoo is a small plastic horn into which you hum, rather than blow (something that Basil Brush found quite difficult to grasp. Or at least intone into, maybe because he’s a stuffed toy...) It makes a buzzing, whining noise which can range from the deeply irritating to the vaguely tuneful, if played by people who know how the tune goes. I suspect it still helps if you’ve had a couple of drinks: both to play and to listen to...

Picture of Katie Derham with the Masters of the Kazooniverse

Katie Derham with the Masters of the Kazooniverse

Picture of Kazoos



The reason we were all together in glorious and cross-species harmony, was because on Monday March 14th at the Royal Albert Hall, Radio 3’s Big Red Nose Show will be taking place, and one of the highlights will be the attempt to break the world record for the largest ensemble of Kazoo players. Me, Basil and the Masters of the Kazooniverse are only the start… we need you, dear readers.

I’ll be letting you know more about the show itself as top secret developments are revealed over the next few weeks. But suffice to say that Basil and I are developing a beautiful working relationship, one that I hope endures long beyond Comic Relief...

For BBC Radio 3, Katie Derham is a presenter on Afternoon on 3 and Breakfast programmes. Watch this space for more updates on Radio 3's Big Red Nose Show ...




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