John Cleese: Fawlty Towers reboot will be hugely different from original series

fawlty towers - BBC
fawlty towers - BBC

John Cleese has said the Fawlty Towers reboot will be “hugely different” from the original.

The Monty Python star told GB News there will be a lot of “open-air” scenes which the original series “never got”.

The original show, written by Cleese and Connie Booth, ran on BBC Two for two series in 1975 and 1979.

It followed the unfortunate exploits of highly-strung Torquay hotelier Basil Fawlty, played by Cleese, and his wife Sybil, portrayed by Prunella Scales, as they tried to keep their hotel and marriage afloat.

In 2019 the show was named the greatest British sitcom of all time by a panel of television experts for Radio Times magazine.

Cleese said: “It is going to be hugely different. My daughter and I have been working on it for about a week, and all we know is it certainly won’t be set in the UK, it will probably be set somewhere in the sun.

“Not in a big city, but somewhere out in the sun with a lot of open-air stuff which we never got in Fawlty Towers.

“But we’ve only just started to think about it because I’m also working on the stage version of Life Of Brian, we’re working on a musical of A Fish Called Wanda.

“My daughter and I have written a very good comedy about Hollywood lookalikes and they’re going to be played by the originals, so Arnold Schwarzenegger will play his own lookalike, so there’s plenty going on.”

It was confirmed earlier this year that Cleese and his daughter, Camilla Cleese, would be rebooting the show.

The new series will explore how the dramatic and cynical Basil navigates the modern world.

It will also see Basil and a daughter he has just discovered is his, team up to run a boutique hotel.

Actor Rob Reiner, his wife and actress Michele Reiner, director and producer Matthew George and Derrick Rossi are executive producers.

Cleese added: “It’s going to be very different because if it’s in the Caribbean it will be a multicultural cast which will be very interesting. And my daughter Camilla will be playing the woman who’s running the hotel.

“So there will be nothing visually or in terms of characters that anyone’s ever seen before, it will be a brand new attempt.

“There’s no attempt to copy it, you’ll see something completely different. I think it will probably be quite funny. Probably funnier than some of the stuff out there.

“So the fact that it won’t be as good as Fawlty Towers doesn’t bother me, because if we were operating on that principle, I should have done Fawlty Towers and then retired.”

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