Fawlty Towers latest: BBC willing to talk to John Cleese over new series

Is Fawlty Towers, a hit show from the 1970s, being revived on the BBC?
we found out about it when everyone else did so? Yeah, I don't know. I mean, we haven't we haven't spoken to John. You know, obviously, it's a legendary show. So you know, we'd be happy to talk to John if he wanted to talk about it. I don't know. I have to see when it comes out. (Image credit: BBC)

The world of comedy was stunned earlier this year when legendary Monty Python star John Cleese revealed that he was reviving his classic 1970s Fawlty Towers for 2023. 

The hit show originally ran on the BBC from 1975 to 1979 and was set in a Torquay hotel run by its highly-strung, cantankerous owner Basil Fawlty and his wife Sybil.

The henpecked hubby gave the country belly laughs as we watched him deal with all manner of mishaps including discovering a pet rat was kept by their waiter Manuel, hotel inspectors on the loose, a deaf resident who believed her money was stolen, Basil assaulting his broken down car and a dead body in the linen basket to name but a few!

When creator and writer John Cleese revealed a new Fawlty Towers was being produced, a channel wasn't announced... so could the revival be coming back to its original home, the BBC? 

Head of BBC comedy commissioning Jon Petrie told us at a recent BBC comedy showcase: "We found out about the Fawlty Towers revival when everyone else did so we haven't spoken to John Cleese on it. Obviously, it's a legendary show. So you know, we'd be happy to talk to John if he wanted to talk about it. I don't know and will have to see when more comes out."

It's been revealed already that the new Fawlty Towers is likely to explore how a much older Basil Fawlty is navigating the modern world — not well we'd guess — as he runs a boutique hotel.

John Cleese will play Basil once again but this time he's teaming up with his own daughter, Camilla Cleese, who'll also be starring in the show, playing Basil's long-lost daughter. 

The pair have been working with Matthew George (A Private War) to develop the show. A major Hollywood player is involved too, as Rob Reiner is an executive producer through his company Castle Rock Television, along with Michele Reiner and Derrick Rossi.

"I'm obsessed with Fawlty Towers and the legendary characters he [Cleese] created," Matthew George said recently. "I've watched the first two seasons so many times I have lost count. I dreamed of one day being involved in a continuation of the story. Now it’s come true."

Nicholas Cannon
TV Content Director on TV Times, What's On TV and TV & Satellite Week

I'm a huge fan of television so I really have found the perfect job, as I've been writing about TV shows, films and interviewing major television, film and sports stars for over 25 years. I'm currently TV Content Director on What's On TV, TV Times, TV and Satellite Week magazines plus Whattowatch.com. I previously worked on Woman and Woman's Own in the 1990s. Outside of work I swim every morning, support Charlton Athletic football club and get nostalgic about TV shows Cagney & Lacey, I Claudius, Dallas and Tenko. I'm totally on top of everything good coming up too.