Basil Fawlty statue for Torquay

Saturday 20th January 2007, 8:01am

According to south devon newspaper The Herald Express, John Cleese has backed a plan to erect a £20,000 statue of Basil Fawlty at the resort in which Fawlty Towers, his hit sitcom, was set.

The idea was first floated after the reopening of Torquay's Hotel Gleneagles - which inspired the hit 1970s series Fawlty Towers. The opening, attended by actress Prunella Scales, who played Sybil Fawlty in the show, attracted worldwide media attention.

Cleese, who now lives in America, has said: "I think this sounds like a splendid idea. Can I assume it will be a conventional, realistic kind of statue, and not a tribute to Henry Moore? If so, let's get someone to sculpt it in a non-controversial style."

Torbay councillor Andy Westwood said he hoped the plan to build the life-size bronze statue by the harbour would help boost the area's tourism. "The programme is shown somewhere in the world every hour. It's about time we took advantage" he added. Local mayor Nick Bye said he'd like to go one step further by building a tribute to Sybil, Manuel and Polly too.

A campaign is now underway to raise the money needed.

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