Fawlty Towers

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Posted by motoman 03/24/2009 @ 16:16

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John Cleese's Fawlty Towers movie - The Press Association
John Cleese has revealed he planned the entire plot for a Fawlty Towers movie. The British actor and comedian denied he was ever in talks to make a film spin-off of the cult TV show, but said he dreamed one up just for fun. Cleese said: "I thought what...
Sachs: 'I say as little as possible' - Digital Spy
The former Fawlty Towers actor told ITV1's This Morning that the scandal over the lewd phone messages he was left by Jonathan Ross and Russell Brand would not be included in his upcoming autobiography. Sachs said: "A lot of people were upset on my...
'Fawlty Towers' reunion, a 'Fish Called Wanda' musical (and a ... - Entertainment Weekly
From the UK's Daily Mail we learned of the unlikely sight at left: The cast of the classic '70s British comedy Fawlty Towers (from left, Prunella Scales, John Cleese, Connie Booth, and Andrew Sachs) gathered to promote two documentaries airing on the...
Fawlty Towers: the classic sitcom the BBC didn't want - Telegraph.co.uk
By Michael Deacon Today, Fawlty Towers is regarded as perhaps the finest British sitcom ever made. Incredibly, though, the sitcom was almost axed before filming began – because the BBC thought it was awful. In 1974, John Cleese, who was to play Basil...
Sachs: Messages scandal in the past - The Press Association
Brand and Ross left a series of lewd messages on the Fawlty Towers actor's answering machine while recording Brand's Radio 2 show. The two presenters said Brand had slept with Sachs' granddaughter, Georgina Baillie, 23, and joked that Sachs might kill...
What makes the British such angry people and how to keep your cool - Mirror.co.uk
A poll for TV channel GOLD, to mark the 30th anniversary of hit sitcom Fawlty Towers , shows that Brits lose their rag on average four times a day – more than the Italians and close neighbours the French. The poll of 6000 Europeans also revealed our...
Juggling two wives proves harder than it seems - Your Local Guardian
Croydon Operatic and Dramatic Association's latest offering is Run For Your Wife, a comedy play in the form of Fawlty Towers that was a West End hit back in the late 1970s and early 1980s. "If you say Fawlty Towers people get the gist of the type of...
Cleese considered 'Fawlty Towers' film - Digital Spy
By Alex Fletcher, Senior Entertainment Reporter John Cleese has revealed the outline of a Fawlty Towers movie that he considered writing. The co-writer of the 1970s BBC sitcom said that he "didn't put a single line down" for the film, but admitted that...
John Cleese 'isn't funny' - Chortle
Martin Clunes has blasted John Cleese's criticisms of British comedy – claiming the Fawlty Towers star hasn't been funny for more than 20 years. Last week, Cleese said TV humour had long passed its golden age of the Sixties, Seventies and Eighties,...
'I was too scared to take Corrie role but my wife made me do it ' - Mirror.co.uk
By Sue Crawford 10/05/2009 Mention Andrew Sachs and most TV fans think of bumbling Spanish waiter Manuel from BBC's Fawlty Towers. So it will be something of a shock when he turns up on the cobbles of Coronation Street this week as Ramsay Clegg,...

Fawlty Towers

Fawlty Towers title card.jpg

Fawlty Towers is a British sitcom produced by the BBC Television and first broadcast on BBC2 in 1975. Although only twelve episodes were produced (consisting of two series, with six episodes each), the programme has had a lasting and powerful legacy.

The setting is in a fictional hotel called Fawlty Towers, located in the seaside town of Torquay, in Devon, on the "English Riviera" (which was where the hotel that provided John Cleese with the inspiration for the series was situated). The show was written by Cleese and Connie Booth, both of whom played main characters. The first series, in 1975, was produced and directed by John Howard Davies, and the second, in 1979, was produced by Douglas Argent and directed by Bob Spiers.

Fawlty Towers placed first on a list of the 100 Greatest British Television Programmes drawn up by the British Film Institute in 2000 that was voted for by industry professionals. It was also voted fifth in the BBC's "Britain's Best Sitcom" poll in 2004.

In May 1970, the Monty Python team booked a stay in the Gleneagles Hotel in Torquay, while doing some location filming. During their stay, John Cleese became fascinated with the behaviour of the owner, Donald Sinclair, whom Cleese later described as "the most marvellously rude man I've ever met". This included him throwing a timetable at a guest who asked when the next bus to town would arrive, and placing Eric Idle's suitcase behind a wall in the garden on the suspicion that it contained a bomb (it actually contained a ticking alarm clock). He also criticised the American-born Terry Gilliam's table manners for not being 'British' (he had the fork in "the wrong hand" while eating). Cleese and Booth stayed on at the hotel after filming for the Python show had finished, furthering their research of the owner's erratic, outspoken and prejudiced attitude.

At the time, Cleese was also a writer on the 1970s British TV sitcom Doctor in the House for London Weekend Television. An early prototype of the character that would become known as Basil Fawlty was developed in an episode ("No Ill Feeling") of the third Doctor series (titled Doctor at Large). In this edition, the main character checks into a small town hotel, his very presence seemingly winding up the aggressive and incompetent manager (played by Timothy Bateson). The show was broadcast on 30 May 1971. Cleese also parodied the contrast between organisational dogma and sensitive customer service in many personnel training videotapes issued with a serious purpose by his company, Video Arts.

Bill Cotton, the BBC's Head of Light Entertainment in the mid-1970s, said after the first series was produced that the show was a prime example of the BBC's relaxed attitude to trying new entertainment formats and encouraging new ideas. He said that when he read the first scripts he could see nothing funny in them, but trusting that Cleese knew what he was doing (having come into this fresh from helping rip up the TV comedy form book with his fellow Pythons), he gave the go-ahead. He said that the commercial channels, with their emphasis on audience ratings, would never have let the show get to the production stage on the basis of the scripts.

Although the series is set in Torquay in Devon, none of it was shot in south west England. For the exterior filming, instead of a hotel, the Wooburn Grange Country Club in Buckinghamshire was used. It later served as a nightclub named "Basil's" for a short time after the series ended until it was destroyed by fire in March 1991. The remnants of the building were demolished and the site was bought by developers. Other location filming was done mostly around the Harrow area of north London: In the episode "The Germans", the opening shot is of Northwick Park Hospital. In the episode "Gourmet Night", the exterior of Andre's restaurant was filmed on Preston Road in the Harrow area. The launderette next door to the restaurant still exists today and Andre's is now a Chinese restaurant called "Wings". The famous sequence where Basil beats his car with a branch after it stalls was filmed on the corner of Mentmore Close and Lapstone Gardens in Kenton, just east of Harrow.

Cleese and Booth were married to each other at the time of the first series. By the second, they had been divorced for almost a year, after ten years of union (1968–78).

Both Cleese and Booth were so keen on every script being perfect, some episodes took four months and ten drafts to write until they were satisfied.

The series focuses on the exploits and misadventures of short-fused hotelier Basil Fawlty, his wife Sybil, and their employees, porter and waiter Manuel, maid Polly and (in the second series) chef Terry. The episodes typically revolve around Basil's efforts to succeed in 'raising the tone' of his hotel and his increasing frustration at the numerous complications and mistakes, both his own and those of others, which prevent him from doing so. Much of the humour comes from Basil's overly aggressive manner, engaging in angry but witty arguments with guests, staff and in particular his formidable wife, whom he addresses (in a faux-romantic way) with insults such as "that golfing puff adder", "my little piranha fish", and "my little nest of vipers". Despite this, he frequently feels intimidated, with her able to stop him in his tracks at any time, usually with a short, sharp cry of "Basil!". At the end of some episodes, Basil succeeds in annoying (or at least bemusing) the guests and frequently gets his comeuppance.

The plots are occasionally intricate and always farcical, involving coincidences, misunderstandings, cross-purposes and meetings both missed and accidental. The innuendo of the bedroom farce is sometimes present, (often to the disgust of the socially conservative Basil), but it is his eccentricity, not his lust, that drives the plots. The events that take place in each episode happen in such a way that they negatively affect Basil's personality, and test what little patience he has to breaking point, sometimes causing his mental state to deteriorate to the point where he has all but suffered a total breakdown by the end of the episode (some cut to the credits as he is on the brink of doing so).

The guests at the hotel are typically comic foils to Basil's anger and outbursts. Each episode's one-shot guest characters provide a different characteristic that he cannot stand (including promiscuity, being working class, or being foreign). Requests both reasonable and impossible test his temper. Even the disabled seem to annoy him, with the episode "Communication Problems" revolving around the havoc caused by the frequent Abbott and Costello-esque misunderstandings between the staff and the hard-of-hearing Mrs Richards (not to mention the contributions from dotty resident Major, the show's other regular character). By the end, Basil faints just at the mention of her name. This episode is typical of the show's careful weaving of humorous situations through comedy cross-talk. The show also uses mild black humour at times, notably when Basil is forced to hide a dead body, and in some of the comments made by Basil both about Sybil ("Did you ever see that film, How to Murder Your Wife? ... Awfully good; I saw it six times") and the guests ("May I suggest that you consider moving to a hotel closer to the sea? Or preferably in it.").

Basil behaves particularly violently towards Manuel (an emotional, but innocent, Spaniard whose almost total lack of English vocabulary has him make some of the most elementary mistakes) including beating the hapless waiter with a frying pan and smacking him on the forehead with a spoon, despite Manuel's piteous pleading, echoing the antics of the Three Stooges. The violence directed at Manuel has been one of the few reasons for negative criticisms leveled at Fawlty Towers over the years. In this, and in other exaggerated physical mannerisms of Basil, Fawlty Towers employs physical comedy reminiscent of the Marx Brothers' fast-paced slapstick humour.

Basil often displays blatant snobbishness in order to climb the social ladder, frequently expressing disdain for the "riff-raff" and "yobbos" that he believes regularly populate the hotel. His desperation is apparent, as he makes increasingly hopeless manoeuvres and painful faux pas in trying to gain favour with the wealthy, yet finds himself forced to serve and help people he sees as beneath him. As such, Basil's efforts tend to be counter-productive, with guests leaving the hotel in disgust and his marriage (and sanity) stretching further and further towards breaking point.

Basil Fawlty, played by John Cleese, is a snobbish and miserly misanthrope who is desperate to belong to a higher social class. He sees the successful running of the hotel as a means of achieving this ("turn it into an establishment of class..."), yet his job forces him to be pleasant to people he despises or aspires to be above socially.

He is terrified of his wife Sybil Fawlty's sharp tongue (in the episode "The Germans", he wishes that it was this that was ingrowing and not her toenail). He yearns to stand up to her, but his plans frequently conflict with her desires. She is often verbally abusive towards him (memorably describing him as "an ageing, brilliantined stick insect") and though he is taller than Sybil, he often finds himself on the receiving end of her temper, expressed verbally or physically. Basil usually turns to Manuel or Polly to help him with whatever scheme he has planned, while trying his best to prevent Sybil from finding out. However, there are occasions where Basil is shown to lament about the time when there was passion in their relationship, now seemingly lost forever. Also, it appears as though he still does care for her in some way. The penultimate episode — "The Anniversary" — revolves around his efforts to put together a nice surprise anniversary get-together present, involving their closest friends. Things go wrong immediately as, due to Basil's pretending the date doesn't remind him of anything so as to enhance the surprise (gamely accepting a slap in the process), Sybil believes he really has forgotten, and leaves the hotel in a huff. In an interview for the documentary on the DVD box set, Cleese claims that this episode deliberately takes a slightly different tone from the others, focusing on fleshing out their otherwise inexplicable status as a couple (as well as saying that, if a third series had been made, there would have been more episodes like this).

In keeping with the general lack of explanation about the marriage, not much is revealed of the characters' back-stories. It is known that Basil served in the Korean War — he was a cook for the British Army, possibly as part of his National Service. He grossly exaggerates this period of his life, suggesting he spent time in active front line service and proclaiming to strangers: "I killed four men." To this Sybil jokes that "He was in the Catering Corps. He used to poison them." Basil is often seen wearing a military tie, (as well as that of the Royal Agricultural College), and his moustache seems to betray an army background. He also claims to have sustained an injury to his leg during the action, caused by shrapnel, although apparently it tends to flare up at surprisingly convenient times for him. The only person toward whom Basil, for the most part, consistently exhibits patience and decent manners is the old and senile Major Gowen, a World War I veteran officer who permanently resides at the hotel.

Cleese himself described Basil as thinking that "he could run a first-rate hotel if he didn't have all the guests getting in the way," and "an absolutely awful human being", but says that in comedy, if an awful person makes people laugh, people unaccountably feel affectionate toward him. Indeed, he is not entirely unsympathetic. The "Hotel Inspectors" and "Waldorf Salad" episodes both feature guests who are shown to be deeply annoying with constant, and unreasonable demands. Much of the time, he is an unfortunate victim of circumstance.

Sybil Fawlty, played by Prunella Scales, is Basil's wife. She is often seen to be a more effective manager of the hotel, making sure Basil either gets certain jobs done or stays out of the way when she is handling difficult customers. Despite this, she rarely participates directly in the running of the hotel; during busy check-in sessions or meal-times, while everyone else is busy working, she is frequently talking on the phone to one of her friends (usually Audrey, who makes her sole on-camera appearance in "The Anniversary") with her phrase "Oohhh, I knoooooooow", or chatting to customers. She has a distinctive conversational tone and braying laugh, which her husband compares to "someone machine-gunning a seal". Being his wife, she is the only one who refers to him by his first name, and when (frequently) she barks this at him, he is generally stopped in his tracks, often flinching.

In addition to those mentioned above, Basil also refers to her by a number of epithets, occasionally to her face, including "the dragon", "toxic midget", "the sabre-toothed tart", "my little kommandant", "my little nest of vipers", and "a rancorous, coiffured old sow". Despite these less than complimentary nicknames, Basil is terrified of her, and it is only once in the entire series that he loses patience to the point which he snaps at her.

Sybil and Basil Fawlty are said to have married on 17 April 1958 and started their hotel in 1960.

Polly Sherman, played by Connie Booth, is primarily employed as a waitress, although she sometimes seems to be coerced into doing many other jobs in the hotel, perhaps for the extra money. She often stands as the voice of sanity during chaotic moments in the hotel, but is frequently embroiled in ridiculous masquerades as she loyally attempts to aid Basil in trying to cover a mistake he has made, or to keep something from Sybil. Her biggest test of loyalty came in the episode "The Anniversary", when Basil asked her to impersonate a purportedly ill Sybil - albeit in semi-darkness — in front of all the Fawltys' closest friends.

Polly is apparently employed part-time (during meal times), and is an art student whom Basil refers to as spending three years at university. (Polly is not referred to as a student in the second series.) Despite her part-time employment, as the most competent of the hotel staff, she is frequently saddled with many other duties. In one episode, she is seen to draw a sketch (presumably an impressionistic caricature) of Basil, which everyone but Basil immediately recognises. Polly is also a student of languages, displaying ability with both Spanish and German; in "The Germans" episode Basil alludes to Polly's polyglot inclination by saying that she does her work "while learning two oriental languages". Like Manuel, she has a room of her own at the hotel.

Manuel, a waiter played by Andrew Sachs, is a well-meaning but disorganised and constantly confused Spaniard from Barcelona with a poor grasp of the English language and customs. He is verbally and physically abused by his boss. When told by either Basil, Sybil, or Polly what to do, he often answers, "¿Qué?" ("What?"). Manuel's character was used to demonstrate Basil's instinctive lack of sensitivity and tolerance. Every episode would involve Basil becoming enraged at least a couple of times by not only Manuel's confusion at his boss's bizarre and complicated demands, but also with basic requests. Manuel is afraid of Fawlty's quick temper and violent assaults, yet often expresses his appreciation for being given a steady source of income in what seems to him an endlessly perplexing society. His relentlessly enthusiastic demeanour and lavish pride in what little English he has grasped suggest that at least some of his persistent difficulties stem from his employers' persistently poor communication skills.

During the making of the series, Sachs twice suffered a serious injury while playing Manuel. Cleese describes using a real metal pan to knock him unconscious in "The Wedding Party" episode, although he would have preferred to use a rubber one. The original producer/director, John Howard Davies, explains in the director's commentary that he made Basil use a metal one and that he was responsible for most of the violence on the show, which he felt was essential and intrinsic to the type of comical farce that they were trying to create. Later, when his clothes were treated in order to make them give off smoke after he had been let out of the burning kitchen in "The Germans", the corrosive chemicals used went through them and gave Sachs severe burns.

Manuel's exaggerated Spanish accent is an integral part of the humour of the show. Sachs's native language is German, Sachs having emigrated to Britain as a child.

The character's nationality was switched to Italian (and the name to Paolo) for the Spanish dub of the show, while in Catalonia he is a Mexican (still called Manuel).

Terry, played by Brian Hall, is the chef at Fawlty Towers. Terry's cooking style is quite relaxed, and Basil occasionally gets frustrated with his attitude. Terry appears in only the second series of episodes. During the first series, there was no regular chef character seen in the show. The only first series chef was "new" chef Kurt, seen in "Gourmet Night", who quickly proved himself incapable of holding the job due to a fondness for large volumes of wine, and a baffling passion for Manuel. Terry used to work in Dorchester (not at The Dorchester). In "The Anniversary" he and Manuel come to blows as he takes offence at someone else cooking in his kitchen, and proceeds to sabotage Manuel's attempt to make paella for Sybil, leading to fisticuffs between them at the end of the episode.

Major Gowen, played by Ballard Berkeley, is a slightly senile old soldier who holds permanent residence in the hotel, but is one of the few whom Basil likes. This is possibly due to his former status in the military, making him a symbol of the establishment status that Basil craves. He is often introduced as their "oldest resident". He enjoys talking about the world outside (especially the cricket scores and bemoaning workers' strikes) and is always on the lookout for the newspaper. He seems to have trouble forgiving the Germans due to the World Wars (the best he can say about them is that German women supposedly make good card players). He also has outdated attitudes towards race, evidenced in the scene where he makes clear the ethnic difference between "wogs" and "niggers" — but in an innocent manner. Despite his good intentions, the Major can cause Basil's devious plans to go catastrophically awry, notably in "Communication Problems" when Basil tries his best to keep his secret (albeit successful) betting from Sybil.

Miss Tibbs & Miss Gatsby, played by Gilly Flower and Renee Roberts respectively, are the other two (often inseparable) permanent residents, who are slightly scatty spinsters. They seem to take a fancy to Basil, and feel as though they need to take care of him, although he switches from being overly kind to utterly rude during various talks with the two women.

Audrey, a mostly unseen character, had one on-screen appearance in "The Anniversary". Audrey is Sybil's lifelong best friend, and mostly appears in the form of gossiping, trivial telephone calls to Sybil. Audrey is used as a source of refuge for Sybil from the hotel and from Basil's ludicrous situations. When times get tough for Audrey (she has a dysfunctional relationship with her husband George), Sybil will offer solutions and guidance, often resulting in the catchphrase "Ooh, I know..." when Mrs. Fawlty tries to commiserate with her problems. In Audrey's one on-screen appearance she is played by actress Christine Shaw. She is mentioned in "The Hotel Inspectors", "The Wedding Party", "Gourmet Night", "The Psychiatrist" and "The Kipper and the Corpse".

Production of the last two episodes was disrupted by a strike of BBC technical staff, which resulted in the recasting of the role of Reg (the wisecracking friend of Basil and Sybil) in "The Anniversary", and delayed the episode's transmission date by one week. The episode "Basil the Rat" was also delayed, not being screened until the end of a repeat showing six months later.

Not the Nine O'Clock News was originally scheduled to debut after an episode of Fawlty Towers and Cleese was to have introduced Not the Nine O'Clock News in a sketch referring to the technicians' strike, explaining (in character as Basil Fawlty) that there was no show ready that week, so a "tatty revue" would be broadcast instead. However, the 1979 general election intervened, and Not the Nine O'Clock News was postponed as being too political. Later that year, Cleese's sketch was broadcast, but its original significance was lost.

When originally transmitted, the individual episodes had no on-screen titles. The ones in common currency were first used for the VHS release of the series in the 1980s. There were working titles, such as "USA" for "Waldorf Salad", "Death" for "The Kipper and the Corpse", and "Rat" for "Basil the Rat", which have been printed in some programme guides. In addition, some of the early BBC audio releases of episodes on vinyl and cassette included other variations, such as "Mrs. Richards" and "The Rat" for "Communication Problems" and "Basil the Rat" respectively.

It has long been rumoured that a thirteenth episode of the series was written and filmed, but never progressed further than a rough cut . Lars Holger Holm, author of the book Fawlty Towers: A Worshipper's Companion, has made detailed claims about the episode's content, but he provides no evidence of its existence and it is most likely a hoax or fan fiction. Neither BBC officials nor John Cleese have ever commented on the existence of a missing episode.

We had an idea for a plot which I loved. Basil was finally invited to Spain to meet Manuel's family. He gets to Heathrow and then spends about 14 frustrating hours waiting for the flight. Finally, on the plane, a terrorist pulls a gun and tries to hijack the thing. Basil is so angry he overcomes the terrorist and when the pilot says, "We have to fly back to Heathrow", Basil says, "No, fly us to Spain or I'll shoot you". He arrives in Spain, immediately arrested and spends the entire holiday in a Spanish jail. He is released just in time to go back on the plane with Sybil. It was very funny, but I couldn't do it at the time. Making Fawlty Towers work at 90 minutes was a very difficult proposition. You can build up the comedy for 30 minutes, but at that length there has to be a trough and another peak. It doesn't interest me. I don't want to do it.

The decision by Cleese and Booth to quit before a third series has often been lauded, as it ensured an avoidance of the possibility that the show's immediately-high status could be weakened with lower quality work later down the line. (Cleese in particular was most likely motivated in making the choice by the end of his involvement with the Monty Python's Flying Circus TV series, which he departed from claiming to have run out of ideas for sketches.) Subsequently, it has inspired the makers of other shows to do likewise. Most notably, Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant refused to make a third series of either The Office or Extras, citing Fawlty Towers' short lifespan as the reason. Rik Mayall, Ben Elton and Lise Mayer, the writers behind The Young Ones, which also only ran for two series (each with six episodes likewise), used this explanation too. Elton also took the decision to end his next sitcom, Filthy Rich & Catflap, after only one series, despite its popularity.

Another critic of the show was Richard Ingrams, then television reviewer for The Spectator. Cleese got his revenge by naming one of the guests in the second series 'Mr Ingrams', who is caught in his room with a blow up doll.

Three BAFTAs were awarded to people for their involvement with the series. Each of the two series were awarded the BAFTA in the category for "Best Situation Comedy", the first won by John Howard Davies in 1976, and the second by Douglas Argent and Bob Spiers in 1980. John Cleese won the BAFTA for "Best Light Entertainment Performance" in 1976.

More recently, in a list of the 100 Greatest British Television Programmes drawn up by the British Film Institute in 2000, voted for by industry professionals, Fawlty Towers was placed first. It was also voted fifth in the BBC's "Britain's Best Sitcom" poll in 2004 and second only to Frasier in The Ultimate Sitcom poll of comedy writers in January 2006. Basil Fawlty came top of the Britain's Funniest Comedy Character poll, held by Five on 14 May 2006.

Three attempted remakes of Fawlty Towers were started for the American market, with two making it into production. The first, Chateau Snavely, was produced by ABC for a pilot in 1978, but the transfer from coastal hotel to highway motel proved too much and the series was never produced. The second, also by ABC, was Amanda's, notable for switching the sexes of its 'Basil' and 'Sybil' equivalents. It also failed to pick up a major audience and was dropped. A third remake called Payne (produced by and starring John Larroquette) was also produced, but was cancelled shortly after. There also was a German sitcom based on Fawlty Towers, and Guest House on Pakistan's PTV also resembled the series.

The popular sitcoms 3rd Rock From The Sun and Cheers (both of which Cleese appeared in) have cited Fawlty Towers as an inspiration, especially regarding its depiction of a dysfunctional "family" in the workplace. Also Arthur Mathews and Graham Linehan have cited Fawlty Towers as a major influence on their sitcom Father Ted.

Several of the characters have made other appearances, as spin-offs or in small cameo roles. In 1984, in character as Manuel, Andrew Sachs recorded his own version of the Joe Dolce cod-Italian song "Shaddap You Face" (with the B-side "Waiter, There's a Spanish Flea in My Soup"). However, the record was not released after Joe Dolce took out an injunction; he was about to issue his version in Britain. Gilly Flower and Renee Roberts, who played Miss Tibbs and Miss Gatsby in the series, reprised the roles in a 1983 episode of Only Fools and Horses. In 2006, Cleese played Basil Fawlty for the first time in 27 years, for an unofficial England 2006 World Cup song, "Don't Mention the War", named after the phrase Basil famously used in "The Germans". In 2007, Cleese and Sachs reprised their roles for a six-episode corporate video for Norwegian oil company Statoil. In the video, Fawlty is running a restaurant called "Basil's Brasserie", while Manuel owns a Michelin Star restaurant in London.

In November 2007, Prunella Scales returned to the role of Sybil Fawlty in a series of sketches for the BBC's annual Children in Need charity telethon. The character was seen taking over the management of the eponymous hotel from the BBC drama series Hotel Babylon, interacting with characters from that programme as well as other 1970s sitcom characters. The character of Sybil was used by permission of John Cleese.

In 2009, Tiger Aspect Productions produced a two-part documentary for digital channel G.O.L.D. entitled Fawlty Towers: Re-Opened. The documentary features interviews with all four main cast members, including Connie Booth, who refused to talk about the series for 30 years.

In just 1977 and 1978 alone, it was sold to 45 stations in 17 countries and was the BBC's best selling overseas program for that year. Although it was initially a flop in Spain, because of the portrayal of the Spanish waiter Manuel, it was successfully resold, with Manuel's nationality changed to Italian.

Fawlty Towers was originally released by BBC Video in 1984, but was edited with the credits from all 3 episodes put at the end of the tape. It was re-released in 1995 unedited and remastered. It was re-released in 1998 with a special interview with John Cleese. Fawlty Towers - The complete series was released on DVD on 16 October 2001, available in regions 1, 2 and 4. A "Collectors Edition" is available in region 2.

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List of guest characters in Fawlty Towers

This is a list of notable guest characters from the television series Fawlty Towers written by and starring John Cleese and Connie Booth. The list below is currently incomplete, and includes some characters which are not strictly guests of the hotel, but are nonetheless 'guest' characters. Major characters for the series and cast members are listed in separate articles.

When the Abbots arrived at the hotel expecting a relaxing holiday away from their stressful careers they find themselves bitterly disappointed because of the insane manager Basil Fawlty.

Mr. Abbot was a psychiatrist, and his wife was a paediatrician. Basil showed an instant double take when learning of Mr. Abbot's profession, believing that psychiatrists were all obsessed with people's sex lives, a touchy subject for Basil, as he was obviously sexually repressed.

Doctor Abbot clearly became a source of gossip when rumours spread around the hotel of his profession, to the extent that Miss Tibbs and Miss Gatsby believed that he had come to take Major Gowen away, due to the old war veteran's clearly unstable mental state.

The doctor was clearly overwhelmed by Basil's mad behaviour - claiming there was enough material within him for an entire conference - a sneaky play upon a similar quote said in conversation to John Cleese by Sir Humphrey Barclay about Donald Sinclair - the hotel manager who was the sole inspiration for Basil Fawlty, and could possibly have been the sentence which seeded the existence of the entire show.

The Abbots were clearly bewildered by Basil erratic behaviour, especially when he started sneaking around their room, and tapping on the walls, claiming that he had had complaints about them before. In reality, Basil was actually trying to catch out Mr. Johnson who had sneaked a girl into his room. Eventually we learn that the young woman had switched places with Johnson's mother, and Basil famously mimicked a headless chicken, as the Abbot's witnessed, claiming that they were on holiday.

Alan (Played by Trevor Adams) features in the episode: The Wedding Party. He was born in 1945.

He was a hip young man who arrived with his girlfriend Jean, and the couple became bewildered witnesses to Basil Fawlty's erratic behaviour. Basil constantly appeared unamused at the couple's openly flirty relationship, to the extremes of believing their hanky-pankying was 'dis-gust-ing'.

He tried to separate the couple in different rooms, because they weren't married. They specifically asked for a double bed, but Basil was adamant on giving them two singles. This is the first episode to feature the Fawlty's mutual sexual repression.

Alan was bamboozled when Basil interrogated him after he asked if a chemist would still be open. Basil had presumed that Alan wanted to purchase a condom, and then when he stated he just wanted batteries Basil presumed them for an adult toy. However all he wanted was two batteries for his electric razor. The tables soon turned on Basil, as Alan bore witness to the hotel manager in uncompromising positions with a drunken Manuel on top of Fawlty claiming that he 'loved him', and an equally inebriated Mrs. Peignoir bouncing on his back.

After the Lloyd's (Jean Wilson's parents) turned up at the hotel things became more complex, and Basil presumed more hanky-pankying was going on, until the situation was spelt out for him in black and white by Sybil, by which time Basil had nearly sacked Polly after getting the wrong end of the stick once more.

A timid and temperamental woman, she arrived at the hotel with her irritating husband Roger (Ken Campbell) to celebrate their good friends the Fawltys' fifteenth wedding anniversary. She clearly shows signs of irateness towards her husband who deliberately tries to wind people up to a breaking point.

Many strange circumstances occurred at the hotel, leading the party guests to wonder what was really going on. In reality Sybil had stormed off for a round of golf after Basil had deliberately pretended that he had forgotten their wedding anniversary.

Farcically, Basil dressed Polly up to look like Sybil, in order to keep the guests happy, Alice later cut her arm after falling over due to the darkness of the room in order to conceal Polly's true identity, and she was baffled after Basil pretended that Sybil (who had forgotten her golf clubs) and returned to the hotel was not his wife, but merely a northern woman with a striking resemblance to Sybil, whom they had met at a fete, and had arrived at the hotel in order to purchase one of their fridges.

Una Stubbs was once married to Nicky Henson, who appeared as Mr. Johnson in the episode The Psychiatrist.

Andre the restaurateur (Played by Andre Maranne) appeared in the episode: Gourmet Night. Andre was born in 1925.

Andre was clearly of French origin (as was the actor who played him) He was a distant friend of Basil and Sybil's, who both respected him after he helped them with the employment of the alcoholic Greek chef Kurt (who was once Andre's apprentice).

Andre owned a highly-respectable four class restaurant in Torquay, he was also clearly aware of Kurt's condition and sexuality, for Kurt fell in love with Manuel, and was now pursuing him, he warned the temporamental chef not to go too far on the alcohol.

He was a witness to the argumentative banter between the Fawltys, where Sybil memorably got drunk and called Basil a: bad tempered tomato, resulting in clearly hidden bewilderment on Andre's behalf at the couple's exceedingly farcical relationship.

Basil later picked up a trifle by mistake from Andre's restaurant after the original duck that the now drunk Kurt was to cook was trodden on by Manuel, causing Fawlty Towers' gourmet night to be reduced to a laughing stock.

The Arrads (played by Norman Bird and Stella Tanner) were characters in the episode Waldorf Salad Mr Arrad was born in 1920 and Mrs Arrad was born in 1924.

Mr. Arrad appears to be fairly insecure, and is scared of his wife, who constantly henpecks him. When the guests wait patiently for their meals (which have been a long time coming) Mrs. Arrad tries to get her husband to stand up for himself and ask where their dinner is, as opposed to doing it herself.

When the meal finally arrives, Mrs Arrad nearly chokes, the staff had put sugar in the salt cellar, and therefore she had put it all over the plaice, which caused confusion as Basil thought she had thrown it around the room. as opposed to using it on her fish meal. Manuel and Basil also found that there was a fly in Mr. Arrad's salad,, which they tried to disguise.

The Arrads had a horrible experience at Fawlty Towers, and when the Hamiltons declared liberation in the hotel, packing all the guests luggage bags, Mr. Arrad finally spoke up for himself, and complained.

Danny Brown, played by actor Robin Ellis was a character in the pilot episode A Touch of Class. He was born in 1945.

He was a member of the CID posing as an innocent member of the public. His real purpose in Torquay was to arrest the confidence trickster under the pseudonym of Lord Melbury.

He had a white sports car, spoke with a distinct cockney accent, and was the only person capable of communicating with Manuel, for he could speak fluent Spanish. His personality was not dissimilar to that of Mr. Johnston from The Psychiatrist. He commented sarcastically about the circumstances which occurred at the hotel: I like a bit of cabaret, took an instant shine to Polly (which she totally blanked out), and tried to decipher a very badly misspelt menu while staying at the hotel.

Mr Carnegie (played by John Quarmby) was the health inspector in the series finale Basil the Rat. He was born in 1920.

Carnegie was found by Basil snooping around in the kitchens. Basil immediately assumed he was a guest and upon getting the wrong end of the stick started insulting the inspector. This didn't amuse the inspector, and in his reedy voice, Carnegie clearly read out a list of problems that the hotel had (including the appearance of two dead pigeons in the water tank).

Carnegie would later come back and reinspect the hotel at a later date, however calamity struck while the hotel staff were cleaning the hotel - Manuel's pet rat (mistaken for a Siberian hamster) escaped, creating havoc for Basil. Carnegie was bewildered upon his return, after he heard Major Gowen shoot at the rat (and miss), and witnessed Manuel go absolutely crazy at the thought of Terry putting too much 'basil' in the ratatouille.

Mr. Carnegie took a fancy to the veal that Fawlty Towers was serving; unaware that one of the cutlets had rat poison on it, Basil came close to killing Carnegie. Upon asking for a side order of cheese and biscuits, the tin lid of the biscuits was removed and revealed 'Basil' the rat, muching away. The hotel staff quickly made it look as though nothing had happened, leaving Carnegie in a daze - wondering whether he had indeed seen anything at all.

Colonel Hall (Allan Cuthbertson), and his very 'small' wife (Ann Way), appeared in the episode Gourmet Night Colonel Hall was born in 1918 and Mrs Hall was born in 1920.

They were respected members of Torquay society, and members of the Rotary golf club. They attended a gourmet night at the hotel along with The Twitchens, which was an invention of Basil's to enhance the standard of clientele, and its reputation amongst the community.

Colonel Hall had a very prominent nervous twitch, and his wife was almost a midget. Basil and Sybil, no matter how hard they tried, couldn't escape these notable points of interest and kept mentioning them accidentally in conversation, to the extent that Basil almost fainted when introducing the 'Twitchens'.

The night didn't go well, after several mess-ups whereby the Greek chef got drunk and spewed up over the starter dish, and Manuel trod on the duck (Colonel Hall was not keen on duck anyway). Mrs. Hall's dish was then served raw by mistake. Sybil and Manuel then unconvincingly kept the guests amused (Sybil then got tipsy), while Basil got another duck... only to realize that he had picked up the wrong silver platter, and humiliated he served up a huge trifle... claiming the duck was 'off'.

Played by Bruce Boa and Clare Nielson. The Hamiltons appeared as the prominent characters in the episode Waldorf Salad.

Harry Hamilton was a loud, boisterous American from California with a strong sense of superiority over the British, which made the immensely patriotic Basil Fawlty quite irate. From the moment he arrived at the hotel, he heartily complained about the terrible climate, how the British drove on the wrong side of the road, and the size of British cars, though his mood could be put down to that he was tired.

Mr Hamilton was used to quality service and bribed Basil with twenty pounds to keep the kitchens open so that himself and his wife could have a hot meal before going to bed. Basil was only too glad to accept the money, however Terry had already left his shift, leaving Basil to deal with things. Basil's dislike of Mr Hamilton increased with every anti-British remark Hamilton made, and by the fact that, whilst Basil and the Hamiltons were at loggerheads, Sybil had made good friends with them.

Mr Hamilton wanted a Waldorf Salad (an American dish served in the Hotel Waldorf, in New York City composing walnuts, apples, celery and grapes in a mayonnaise sauce), and a screwdriver (vodka and orange juice) which confused Basil as he thought the actual tool was meant.

Basil was terrified of Mr Hamilton, and done all he could to serve him his salad, but only served in making things worse. Sybil, however, was totally capable of handling the situation, yet lost patience with Basil after he stole Mr Hamilton's salad minutes after Sybil had served him it. After several more cock-ups, Hamilton made a stand against Basil and left the hotel.

Mrs Hamilton was of British descent but had lived in California for almost twelve years) tried to calm Harry down, and keep the peace. Basil seemed to take a very slight fancy to her before he realized she was married.

The Heath family (Jeffrey Segal, Elisabeth Benson and Tony Page) feature briefly near the start of the episode Gourmet Night.

The son Ronald was the most prominent of the three. He was a rude, pampered and spoiled boy about 13 years of age, obviously been treated as if he were the most important person in the world, with a doting mother and a hen-pecked father.

Encouraged by his mother, Ronald heartily complains about the chips being the wrong shape, and when he is served fresh mayonnaise rather than Salad cream. He is perhaps the only Fawlty Towers guest who is as rude as Basil himself. Basil snaps back, and "accidentally" elbows him in the head, to the horror of the pampered Ronald and his fussing mother but evidently to the delight of his father, who nervously comments, "Nice man". It is thought that they left afterwards, possibly because of Ronald's demand.

This is the first of two appearances by Elisabeth Benson, who would later appear as Mrs. White, in the Kipper and the Corpse. She remains the only actress to have played more than one role in the series.

Mr. Hutchinson was a rather jumped up, loud and annoying guest with a brash, uncompromising and precise attitude. He was Basil's main antagonist played by Bernard Cribbins in "The Hotel Inspectors". He was born in 1925.

He was a very spoiled brat and incredibly demanding, and was very persuasive in getting exactly what he wanted. If he did not get what he wanted, he would thrown a tantrum. He obviously considered himself more important than anyone else. Polly commented on this, asking Hutchinson if he was the Duke of Kent, however this sarcastic comment flew straight over his pompous head, and Hutchinson believed that she meant this literally.

Basil assumed Hutchinson was a covert hotel inspector when Hutchinson revealed he had a wide experience of hotels. Basil's attitude to the man switches from sarcasm to groveling. It turned out he was not a hotel inspector, but a spoon salesman, after Sybil overheard a phone conversation.

Hutchinson was the only guest to act with reasonable violence against Fawlty, hitting him in the face, kicking him in the groin, and reducing him to agony on the floor after Basil had assaulted Hutchinson in the dining room. Basil retaliated by filling Hutchinson's briefcase with cream (aided by Manuel) and smashing pies into his face and groin. Unfortunately only the last retaliatory attack against Hutchinson was witnessed by the three actual hotel inspectors seeing Basil's psychotic manner as Basil threw Hutchinson out the front entry of the hotel as the arrived (although it can be assumed that Basil got off this one by explaining that Hutchinson had in fact started it).

Mr. Ingrams (played by Charles McKeown) was a minor character in the episode The Kipper and the Corpse. He was born in 1951.

There is only a fleeting glance at this guest. Mr. Ingrams was checked in by Sybil half way through the Mr. Leeman fiasco. Originally we didn't even see him from the front, and his relevance was kept a tight mystery.

Later on, when Basil and Manuel are trying to hide Mr. Leeman's corpse, the two accidentally stumble into Mr. Ingram's room while he is blowing up an inflatable sex doll. Mr. Ingrams later appeared in the final scene where Basil promised that Sybil would give all the guests answers and explanations. Mr. Ingrams went to complain, probably due to the lack of privacy that he so obviously needed.

Mr. Ingrams existed as an in-joke: when the pilot episode A Touch of Class first aired it created many mixed reactions all around, some journalists believed it was a mediocre program, one of these being Richard Ingrams of the Private Eye, who slagged off the program with relish. After the show became a success, Cleese and Booth humiliated Ingrams, getting their revenge through this character.

Basil took an instantly pessimistic view of this particular guest because of his crass, cheeky mannerisms and his attire containing: leather trousers and a loud shirt unbuttoned to the waist, with various symbolistic trinkets around his neck. Basil decided to see Mr. Johnson from a certain angle... believing that he resembled an ape.

In reality Basil was jealous, because Sybil was haplessly attracted to him, she went immediately misty-eyed and smitten when in his presence. This was a minor irritation to Mr. Johnson who was trying to make a phone call, while Sybil recounted various random objects that her mother felt were macabre (even to the extent of 'cows' and 'bicycles').

Johnson smuggled an attractive young girl into his room, much to the chagrin of Basil, who was constantly on the prowl trying to catch him out, however this backfired and Basil ended up the brut of the situation once again, looking insane in front of a psychiatrist and his wife, and a young Australian woman who he accidentally groped on several occasions.

It was assumed that the girl sneaked out of the hotel during the night, for in the morning she is replaced by Johnson's elderly mother, who intended to stay at the hotel. Nicky Henson who played Mr Johnson was once married to Una Stubbs who starred in the episode: The Anniversary. Johnson will be best remembered for his quick-fast wit such as his ideas for very short books: The Wit of Margaret Thatcher, and Great English Lovers, and also his punchline which tickled Sybil so much Pretentious, Moi?

Kurt (played by actor Steve Plytas) is the only chef we see in series one, and he only appears in Gourmet Night. He was born in 1915.

Kurt is a professional Greek chef, however his masterpiece creations aren't appreciated by young Master Heath, who didn't appreciate his mayonnaise sauce. He was hired by Basil from Andre, who was clearly aware of Kurt's drinking problem. It is presumed that Kurt once worked at Andre's four-star restaurant. He was openly homosexual, and clearly temperamental, he developed a crush on Manuel.

Kurt bought a sketch of Manuel from Polly, this was the first indication that Kurt wanted more than a friendship with his associate. He constantly praised him, calling him 'cute', kissing him on the forehead, and noting that their tremendous partnership would make Fawlty Towers famous for its cuisine standards.

When Manuel does not return his affections, Kurt gets blind drunk (for he was an alcoholic), ruining the gourmet night at Fawlty Towers, and soiling what little reputation the hotel had built up.

Kurt is unlike many comedy characters from the 1970s era, for the issue of homosexuality would be ignored in most cases, despite clearly camp characters such as Mr. Humphries in Are You Being Served?.

Kurt was replaced by a full time chef: Terry in series two.

Mr Leeman (played by Derek Royle) was the major character in the episode: The Kipper and the Corpse. He was born in 1928.

Leeman complained he was feeling unwell after three businessmen guided him to the hotel. After he ordered breakfast in bed, Basil made fun of both Sybil's over-specific breakfast options and perhaps the absurdity of the breakfast-in-bed request, asking him what he would "like his breakfast tray made out of".

In the morning, Basil took up Leeman's breakfast, totally unaware that Leeman was stone dead. He had obviously died before he'd gone to sleep due to his eyes being wide open. After Polly took up Leeman's milk (which Basil had forgotten) she announced the man was dead, and Basil made a song and dance, believing that the out-of-date kippers had killed him. Doctor Price announced he'd been dead for several hours, and that situation was totally impossible.

Basil made many attempts to conceal Leeman's body from guests, a guest had never died at the hotel before, so he was unsure what to do. Leeman was hidden in a wardrobe, in the hotel kitchen, in a washing linen basket and many other obscure places, while freaking out Miss Tibbs and the Whites.

Mr. Leeman was named in honour of a hotel manager who told John Cleese (who was researching for new concepts in the series) the fiasco of hiding deceased guests in the hotel business.

Lord Melbury (Played by actor Michael Gwynn), was Basil Fawlty's first upper-class guest, and temporary idol in the pilot episode A Touch of Class. He was later revealed to be a confidence trickster. He was born in 1915.

Melbury saw Basil as an easy target, and reserved a room at the hotel while lying low while planning a huge scam in Torquay and was later caught out and arrested by Danny Brown, a member of the CID, who posed as a guest for a short while. Basil treated him very ridiculously and pandered to him every need.

Melbury spoke with a refined English accent, deposited a hefty suitcase of valuables in Basil's safe (which later turned out to be several bricks), conned the hotel manager out of £200, and almost got his greedy mitts upon Basil's collection of fine antique coins (a small investment) which Melbury insisted he should get valued by the Duke of Buckleigh (an imaginary invention on Melbury's behalf - who Basil later joked had had his head knocked off by a golf ball).

The circumstances in which Melbury was arrested, ironically scared away real aristocrats: Sir Richard Morris and his wife who vowed that they had never been in such a terrible place in all their lives - many innocent people would later think exactly the same.

Raylene (Luan Peters) was an attractive, young, busty, blonde Australian, who appeared in episode: The Psychiatrist. She was born in 1949.

Basil (while being sexually repressed) undeniably took a fancy to her during her stay at the hotel. This obvious attraction created carefully concealed jealousy within Sybil, ironically however this was a two way situation because Basil felt the same way when she had been attracted to Mr. Johnson earlier in the episode.

At that time in the hotel, he was trying to impress the Abbots, and sniff out the young girl that Mr. Johnson had hidden away in his room. Becoming increasingly paranoid, Basil deliberately took steps to try and catch Johnson with the girl. Basil kept accidentally finding himself in compromising positions with Raylene in the presence of Sybil, while trying to do something totally different. This created conflict between the Fawltys, and Basil spent a night sleeping in a broom cupboard as a punishment for his accidental crimes.

Raylene was clearly bewildered by her stay at Fawlty Towers, and the management, due to her encounters with Basil, however she tried to remain as laid back about the events as much as possible.

Sir Richard (Played by actor Martin Wyldeck) and Lady Morris (played by Pat Symons) were Fawlty Towers' first genuine upper class guests, in the pilot episode A Touch of Class. Sir Richard Morris was born in 1909, while Mrs Morris was born in 1911.

Basil announced to Sybil he would be expecting these notorious, well-respected aristocrats early in the episode, after they had seen a £40 advertisement in a respectable magazine indicating that Fawlty Towers accepted no riff-raff, this phrase obviously attracted the stuffy couple.

After Lord Melbury had been uncovered as a confidence trickster, Basil went slightly mad, and the aristocrats happened to check in at the hotel at the worse possible moment. Clearly emotionally unstable Basil almost thought that the Morris' were part of the scam. Basil confronted Lord Melbury, and the Morris' watched as the police raided the hotel, and as Basil yelled out swear words to the conman.

Clearly baffled and bewildered by what they had seen, the Morris' left the hotel, clearly stating that they had: never been to such a dreadful place, and Basil showered them with insults as their car left the driveway.

Mr. O'Reilly was an ineffective and God-fearing Irish builder played by actor David Kelly who Basil hires in The Builders. His shoddy workmanship and complete lack of knowledge in the field of building works almost resulted in the Fawlty Towers hotel collapsing. His year of birth was 1927.

In the episode, Basil and Sybil are going away for the weekend and want some foundation work done on the hotel during their absence. Sybil sensibly decides to use professional builders, but foolishly lets Basil oversee everything. Not wanting a huge bill to pay, Basil hires O'Reilly. O'Reilly and his men are totally incompetent cowboys, but Basil frequently uses him because he's cheap. Sybil mentions that O'Reilly has worked for them three times in the past year and every time, it has been a catastrophe. O'Reilly was called in to build a garden wall and simply left the huge pile of bricks in the driveway instead of actually building it. He also attempted to change a washer in the hotel and thus, he caused them to have no running water for two weeks. Sybil abhors O'Reilly, which is totally understandable and attacked him after he dared to smile cheerily at her when she was viciously insulting him about how completely useless he was.

O'Reilly is the only character, other than Basil himself, who gets to be on the receiving end of Sybil's wrath. He is also one of the very few guest characters to receive a mention in more than one episode: we see Basil complaining to him over the phone, about the garden wall, in A Touch of Class. Memorably, Sybil noted that she had seen more intelligent creatures than O'Reilly lying on their backs at the bottom of ponds. She then hit him several times with an umbrella.

Basil convinced O'Reilly into doing the best days work he'd ever done. The hotel looked faultless after O'Reilly had worked upon it, however rival builder Mr. Stubbs realized that the supporting walls were in fact in danger of falling down because of the incorrect usage of tools, leaving the Fawltys in a complete crisis.

Basil then stormed away, vowing to insert a large garden gnome in O'Reilly's behind.

Dr. Price (played by Geoffrey Palmer) appears in the episode The Kipper and the Corpse. He was born in 1926.

Doctor Price was staying at the hotel at the time that Mr. Leeman was found dead in his sleep, he calmed Basil down and convinced him that the out-of-date kippers he had served Leeman for breakfast were not responsible for the guest's death.

He wasn't impressed by the standards of hygiene in the hotel, because Basil was occupied with hiding the dead body in inconvenient places. He was bewildered by the lack of service, and by Manuel's erratic behavior.

He wanted sausages for breakfast, which results in the famous line: "I'm a doctor and I want my sausages." He gets tired of waiting and ends up cooking them himself. However, the sausages are off, having passed their best before date.

The terrible Mrs Alice Richards was perhaps Basil Fawlty's most terrifying foe, played by Joan Sanderson in the first episode of the second series Communication Problems.

Alice Richards was an uncompromising, selectively deaf battleaxe from Brighton (or at least she had a house there which was being put up for sale), she constantly complained about the hotel service, even though nothing was notably wrong with it. She had the will and the power to bend everyone and anyone's patience to get her own way.

She complained with relish about her room to Basil (even though nothing was apparently wrong with it at all), during one memorable scene where she claimed the bath was too small, the radio didn't work, and the view of Torquay was invisible, despite all of these factors being perfectly satisfactory. When Basil offered a change of room, she rebuked the idea, simply wanting a reduction.

She easily misunderstood situations (either deliberately or because she was hard of hearing), this created more friction between her and Basil Fawlty, whom she had christened C.K. Watt (Si Que What) through her own misapprehension.

The major plot throughout the episode was that while she stayed at the hotel lost £85, which she believed has been stolen. It was later revealed that (partly due her dottyness) she had kept it inside a glove that she left at an antique shop when she brought a highly valuable vase. However, due to the madness of the Major Gowen, a frightful mix-up occurred, resulting in Mrs Richards claiming the ill-gotten £75 Basil had won on a horse, but was forced to hide from Sybil, who had banned him from gambling. Basil came close to having the upper-hand for once, after Mrs Richards' own money was returned and he plotted to keep it. However, the Major stormed in and merrily revealed to Sybil that Basil had won the money on a horse, and a horrified Basil broke Mrs Richards' frightfully expensive vase. Basil was verging on a nervous breakdown as he bade farewell to this frightful 'old bat'!

Roger was married to Alice (Una Stubbs), and the couple visited Fawlty Towers for the Fawlty's fifteenth wedding anniversary. He was the first to suspect that something fishy was going on, after Sybil refused to come down to say hello, due to her being 'ill'. In reality, Sybil had left the hotel in a fury after Basil deliberately pretended to forget their Anniversary (which was part of the surprise).

Roger had an extremely annoying personality, and was constantly cheeky, trying Basil's patience with his witty remarks. Basil cooly tried to snub of indications and retorts that Roger made, with replies such as: you read a lot of Oscar Wilde, do you Rog?

After the fiasco that occurred at the hotel, whereby Polly had to dress up as Sybil, after Roger's persistence to see her overwhelmed Basil. Polly had to hide under the guise of Sybil in a room so dimly lit that many of the guests fell over, or caused injury to themselves.

Roger was the only person to come out of the room unscathed, and he remarked to Basil that he had had tremendous fun.

Mr. Stubbs was a local builder played by actor James Appleby, who appears in the episode The Builders.

He was a professional, reliable man, as was his firm. Sybil wishes to use him to spruce up the hotel, but Basil hires the cheaper - but totally incompetent cowboy Mr. O'Reilly instead. He does not actually appear on-screen until the very end of the episode.

After several cock-ups Mr. Stubbs inspects his rival O'Reilly's shoddy work, and comes to realize that the hotel is in danger of falling down, and Basil then storms off vowing to insert a large garden gnome in O'Reilly.

Mr Walt (Played by actor James Cossins) was a major character in the episode The Hotel Inspectors.

Mr. Walt seemed brash, and abrupt. He liked to be left alone, and seemed rather irritable (which was hardly surprising due to Basil's extreme behaviour). He was a connoisseur of wine, and he certainly caught Basil out, for the manager believed that a Bordeaux was not a Claret, he was particularly annoyed when Basil 'corked' his wine, and eventually he poured a glass out himself. Not much attention was paid to him, for Basil was concentrating on Mr. Hutchinson, whom he believed was a hotel inspector.

After a mix-up in communication (Walt mentioned to Basil that he was in Torquay with two partners), Basil swapped his focus from Hutchinson to Walt, believing him to be an inspector. Basil felt guilty after the way that he had treated the man, and even bribed him £50 not to mention the situations that had occurred at the hotel that afternoon.

Bewildered, Walt confessed that he sold outboard motors, and left Basil humiliated, and crying like a sinisterly overgrown baby.

This marks the second appearance of Benson, who appeared as the mollycoddling Mrs. Heath in Gourmet Night, she remains the only actress who appeared in more than one role in the show.

The Whites came to their room one afternoon to find it was being 'Spring Cleaned'. In reality, Basil, Manuel and Polly were trying to hide the deceased Mr. Leeman, and the unconscious Miss. Tibbs in their wardrobe for the time-being. After a huge kerfuffle, the Whites were allowed into their room, they became frantic after Miss. Tibbs awoke, and Basil made up the excuse that she was slightly dotty and did that kind of thing all the while.

The couple made a mutual agreement that they were going to find another hotel elsewhere. As they drove away, they saw Basil and Manuel holding the remains of Mr. Leeman, and crashed before they left the premises. They were later seen reentering Fawlty Towers at the end of the episode, clearly in a state of trauma/shock.

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Terry (Fawlty Towers)

Terry is a fictional character played by Brian Hall in the BBC 1 television sitcom Fawlty Towers. His full name is Terry Hughes. He was named after director Terry Hughes of Monty Python Live at the Hollywood Bowl (1982), which Fawlty Towers creator John Cleese also wrote. Terry is the chef at Fawlty Towers in Series 2.

Terry is Fawlty Towers' cockney chef. He lives up to the commonly perceived stereotype: he's a quick witted 'wideboy', who thinks of women before work (for example, in the "Waldorf Salad" episode, he admits that he is leaving his shift early to see a young Finnish woman). However, he has a big heart and a very sharp mind - he's always finding ways to get out of the tricky situations that Basil Fawlty lands him in.

Terry arrives in the second series after the relief of Kurt (seen only in Gourmet Night); he is quite relaxed towards his work. Basil occasionally gets frustrated with this attitude. Terry used to work in Dorchester, not at The Dorchester (a famous luxury hotel), as was once thought.

Terry claims that he and Polly "basically run the bleeding hotel". In some chaotic situations he proves himself capable of executing orderly and clever manoeuvres. Terry had an argument with Manuel after Basil let Manuel cook paella, much to Terry's dismay.

Terry was introduced in the second series because Cleese and Booth thought that the hotel seemed empty due to its lack of employees. He was the only new regular character to be introduced in the series.

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Manuel (Fawlty Towers)

Manuel Waiter.jpg

Manuel is a fictional character from the BBC sitcom Fawlty Towers. Played by Andrew Sachs, he is an iconic character in British comedy history.

Manuel, a Spanish waiter, is a well-meaning but disorganised and constantly confused Catalan (from Barcelona) with a limited grasp of the English language and customs. He is constantly verbally and physically assaulted by his boss. He is afraid of Mr. Fawlty's quick temper and violent assaults, yet often expresses his appreciation for being given the position. When told by either Basil, Sybil or Polly what to do, he frequently answers "sí" ('yes'), and "¿qué?" ('what?') which once led to a guest (who, in Basil's words, was "deaf, mad and blind") believing Basil's name to be "C. K. Watt". Manuel and Polly are both quite scared of Basil. An oft-quoted catchphrase of the character is "I know nothing", from the episode Communication Problems. Other phrases commonly associated with Manuel are "I learn Eeenglieesh from a boooog" and "she go crazy". The Germans implied that Manuel's grasp of English was in fact far better than he let on, and that he pretended not to know English simply to annoy people (Basil, in particular).

He is known for his passionate patriotism, amplified in The Anniversary when he tries to make Terry the chef let him cook paella to his mother's recipe. Manuel has a large family in Spain, mentioning in The Wedding Party that he has five brothers and four sisters. Later in the episode he claims to have five mothers and four aunties, although at the time he was highly inebriated, having just celebrated his birthday.

Basil hired Manuel because he was very cheap labour, but Manuel was variedly able to try and bend the situation around on Basil, and then became the brunt of extreme violence: from being hit on the head with various objects like spoons, saucepans, and a moose's head - to being picked up like a ragdoll and forced to do a chore - Manuel has suffered much violent harassment. Although as a consequence of the violence he briefly decided that he didn't want to work here anymore, he nevertheless remains loyal to Basil. Everyone's standard excuse for everything Manuel does is "He's from Barcelona".

During the episode Basil the Rat, Manuel acquires a common rat while under the impression that it is a Siberian hamster, and names it Basil. He becomes very emotionally attached to the rat, and even threatens to leave Fawlty Towers altogether if Basil and Sybil dispose of it.

Around the time the series was created British hotel owners often employed foreigners who could not speak English, which often resulted in communication problems with the guests and the rest of the staff. Manuel, who was to be played by German-born British actor Andrew Sachs, was included as a representative of these foreign workers. Sachs claims that he only had a few weeks to learn the difficult and complex accent that Manuel is so famous for (in fact, being German-born, Sachs initially suggested playing a German waiter), but loved his experiences on the show (even after he was physically hurt twice on screen, see The Wedding Party and The Germans for more information); Sachs still has Manuel's attire today.

Sachs's less than flattering portrayal of the Spanish resulted in the character's nationality being switched to an Italian from Naples called Paolo for the Spanish dub of the show broadcast in Spain. In the Catalonian TV3 channel, Manuel's origin was changed from Barcelona to Mexico. The version dubbed into French also gives his nationality as Mexican.

The Swedish pop group I'm from Barcelona chose its name in reference to this character.

The movie mocking television program Mystery Science Theater 3000 has referred to Manuel on several occasions. When a character on screen speaks with a Spanish accent, the riffers would often respond with "I'm so sorry, he's from Barcelona".

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Source : Wikipedia