Fawlty Towers: Reopened

This weekend sees the closest we’ll ever get to a new episode of Fawlty Towers. Thanks to British digital channel GOLD, Fawlty Towers: Reopened brings together the four stars of the classic British sitcom, co-writers and co-stars John Cleese and Connie Booth, as well as Prunella Scales and Andrew Sachs.

Fawlty Towers cast reunion John Cleese and Connie Booth with Andrew Sachs and Prunella Scales

Airing the evening of Sunday May 10th at 9pm, the cast chat about the writing the show (Cleese and then-wife Connie Booth would spend six weeks on a 130+ page script per half hour episode), filming (they only had one take in front of the live audiences), rehearsing and the shows lack of immediate success.

It seems that the two series (1975 and 1979) each took 43 weeks of writing, performing and filming to complete, but Cleese and the rest of the cast agree that that attempting to match the quality of writing and performances 30 years on would be impossible.

The following weekend sees John Cleese introduce his favourite Fawlty Towers moments – Fawlty Exclusive: Basil’s Best Bits will appear on GOLD on Sunday May 17th, again at 9pm.

As Cleese explains in the interview, Fawlty Towers often involves his unique comic creation Basil Fawlty trying desperately to keep a secret covered up either from wife Sybil (Prunella Scales) or the various guests.  With the help of waitress Polly (Connie Booth) and waiter Manuel (Andrew Sachs) he usually manages to get away with it – until everything becomes unravelled, the comedy building to a crescendo in the tradition of the best French farce.

Whatever selections of Fawlty Towers gold Cleese chooses for the show, one thing is certain – it’s a tough job to single any Fawlty Towers moment as being any better than any other.

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