British Comedy Guide

Fawlty Towers. Image shows from L to R: Manuel (Andrew Sachs), Basil Fawlty (John Cleese), Sybil Fawlty (Prunella Scales), Polly (Connie Booth). Copyright: BBC.

Fawlty Towers

BBC Two sitcom about a badly run hotel. 12 episodes (2 series), 1975 - 1979. Stars John Cleese, Prunella Scales, Andrew Sachs, Connie Booth and others.

Series 1, Episode 6 is repeated on Gold on Friday at 9:20pm.

Press Clippings

Why we love the comedy of failure

Failure, in short, is funny. And it's not simply a case of schadenfreude, either.

Mark Butler, i Newspaper, 10th April 2018

Several sitcoms banned by Mastermind

Contestants on the BBC quiz show Mastermind will no longer be allowed to pick Fawlty Towers, Blackadder or Roald Dahl as their specialist subjects as the producers have run out of questions. Mark Helsby, Mastermind's producer, has revealed that some subjects are so popular that they have been "exhausted" for new questions. Father Ted and the Chronicles of Narnia have also been removed.

Graham Ruddick, The Guardian, 30th January 2018

Fawlty Towers items feature on Antiques Roadshow

Props from Fawlty Towers are to feature in a special episode of the Antiques Roadshow filmed on the set of EastEnders.

Bruce Dessau, Beyond The Joke, 18th December 2017

John Cleese: 'I've lost Basil the rat'

John Cleese has revealed that he's lost the model of Basil the rat from the classic episode of Fawlty Towers where the health inspector visits.

TV Times, 11th October 2017

Kippers, Rats and Benzedrine Puff Adders

Is there such a thing as the perfect sitcom? For many people, Fawlty Towers fits the bill. Its success and influence on the national consciousness from only 12 episodes is such that it has become axiomatic for some that no comedy should run for more than two series.

Andrew Martin, BBC, 19th September 2017

Blackadder tops list of shows people would like to return

Blackadder, Only Fools And Horses, Spitting Image and Fawlty Towers have come out top of a poll that asked people which classic TV shows they'd like to return.

British Comedy Guide, 15th June 2017

Japan turns to Basil Fawlty in race for Olympic English

Teachers in Fukuoka Prefecture have been using Fawlty Towers and Red Dwarf to get students used to hearing spoken English. It raises the prospect of a generation of Japanese students sounding like Basil, Sybil or even Manuel.

Matt Pickles, BBC, 29th March 2017

Fawlty Towers named comedians' favourite sitcom

A survey of comedians has revealed that Fawlty Towers is their favourite sitcom, and Alan Partridge meeting his superfan is their favourite scene. "Don't tell him Pike" was picked as the favourite one-liner.

British Comedy Guide, 4th January 2017

Fawlty's funny but class doesn't raise a laugh any more

Today's hit sitcoms are about sex, rent, relationships and children - not middle-aged men and thwarted ambitions.

Catherine Shoard, The Guardian, 13th December 2016

Did the German Fawlty Towers ever mention the war?

As we celebrated the 41st anniversary this past week of Fawlty Towers, I thought it would fun to take a look back at how the greatest situation comedy of all-time made the leap to German broadcaster RTL. The first ever non-English adaptation of the John Cleese/Connie Booth bit of brilliance occurred in 2001 with a pilot set on the German island of Sylt in the North Sea, in a fictitious hotel called Zum letzen Kliff, which translates as "To the Last Cliff".

Bill Young, Tellyspotting, 24th September 2016

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