by Hans ten Cate
Tuesday, 22 November 2005

John Cleese provides excerpts from a recent follow-up interview at his ranch in Santa Barbara, California

To celebrate the 30th anniversary of Fawlty Towers, which first aired on BBC 2 on 19 September 1975, PBS stations across America will air a retrospective on what many consider to be one of the funniest situation comedies of all time.

Fawlty Towers Revisited is an 80-minute television show which will premiere in early December (actual show dates and times vary from station to station). This show is filled with behind-the-scenes insights from the cast and crew of Fawlty Towers, and it includes more than 40 minutes of clips from the show's 12 episodes.

The special draws on an exclusive BBC interview with series creator John Cleese, who talks about the creative process, casting the show and how he and co-writer (and then wife) Connie Booth collaborated on each episode.

Others from the cast and crew contribute their insights as well, including Andrew Sachs (Manuel), Prunella Scales (Sybil), Connie Booth (Polly), Nicky Henson and Luan Peters (Mr. Johnson and Raylene Miles from “The Psychiatrist”), Bernard Cribbins (Mr. Hutchinson in “The Hotel Inspectors”), John Howard Davies (producer/director of season one) and Bob Spiers (director of season two). Cleese’s friend and Monty Python colleague Terry Jones even chimes in with his take on the Pythons’ now infamous stay at the Glenneagles Hotel in Torquay that provided the inspiration for the creation of “Fawlty Towers.”

Andrew Sachs, the Berlin-born actor who played “Manuel,” the bumbling waiter from Barcelona, co-hosts Fawlty Towers Revisted

Andrew Sachs and John Howard Davies share the role of host during the program, giving viewers perspectives from both in front of, and behind, the camera. And, of course, it’s all woven skillfully with the liveliest and funniest clips from the very best episodes of the series.

A companion blog (www.fawltytowersrevisited.com) was launched on November 14 to celebrate the anniversary and to bring Fawlty Towers fans together for a global online reunion. The blog will feature daily postings about the show, its cast and crew, trivia and interesting tales Fawlty Towers.

The Fawlty Towers Revisited blog also will feature an interactive map that fans can use to find out when the PBS station nearest them will broadcast the show. And there will even be tips and recipes fans can use to host a watching party.

The exclusive broadcast of Fawlty Towers Revisited on PBS stations nationwide is especially fitting because Fawlty Towers made its U.S. debut on public television stations in 1976, less than a year after it began airing in England. And it still is an audience favorite 30 years later.

Fawlty Towers Revisited will air during the December 2005 pledge drives during which the PBS affiliates will raise funding for their stations. As usual, the stations will offer some unique gifts as a "thank you" to donors:

  • Corgi Limited Edition Reproduction of Basil Fawlty 's Austin 1100 Estate Car
    Along with Basil­and­tree­branch figurine, this is a replica of the car featured in the "Gourmet Night" episode. Car comes with a numbered Certificate of Authenticity. For fans who think they already have this collectible, they will be "pleased" to know that the original Corgi packaging incorrectly identified the car as an Austin 1300. ONLY 4,000 CARS WERE PRODUCED AND EXCLUSIVE TO PBS.
  • Fawlty Towers Revisited DVD
    The Fawlty Towers Revisited DVD, which is exclusive to PBS and available only through member stations, features the 80­minute 30th anniversary retrospective special on one of the world ’s most loved comedies, as well as 10 additional minutes of behind­the­scenes interviews with cast and crew from Fawlty Towers.



  • Fawlty Towers: A Worshipper 's Guide
    This limited edition book, not otherwise available in the United States, features everything about the program, the characters, and the hotel itself - right down to an analysis of the neuroses of each individual character! This exclusive book is required reading for true fans of the program.