John Cleese reveals plot details for upcoming Fawlty Towers reboot with much-loved character set to be killed off

16 May 2023, 07:44

Filming for the show is expected to begin in 2024
Filming for the show is expected to begin in 2024. Picture: Alamy
Kieran Kelly

By Kieran Kelly

Fawlty Towers writer John Cleese has revealed a number of details about the show's upcoming reboot, detailing plans to kill off a major character.

Cleese announced earlier this year that the infamous show would be rebooted after the final episode aired nearly 40 years ago.

The actor, 83, starred as Basil Fawlty in the original 12 episodes of the comedy show between 1975 and 1979, while Prunella Scales, 90, played Sybil.

Scales, 90, was diagnosed with Alzheimer's in 2014, though her husband Timothy West insisted last year that she is "still enjoying life".

In the new show, Basil's illegitimate daughter will be introduced, with the character having had an affair with a guest staying in the hotel, Cleese has revealed.

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Fawlty Towers writer John Cleese
Fawlty Towers writer John Cleese. Picture: Getty

At the start of the show, Sybil will be dead, he added.

John told The Sun: "The new one starts with Sybil’s death and Basil’s daughter getting a text message from her father saying, 'Sybil did'.

She texts back, 'Sybil did what?' Basil is about to deliver the eulogy and says what an absolutely wonderful woman Sybil was.

"And then the camera pans around and you see that behind his back he has his fingers crossed."

Read More: Fawlty Towers cast: who starred in original series with John Cleese and Connie Booth, where are they now?

Read More: Fawlty Towers is back: John Cleese announces reboot as daughter Camilla set to write script with Monty Python star

John added: "Sybil dies and Basil goes to see his daughter because it was all part of a naughty affair that he once had with a guest at the hotel.

"My daughter will probably be a hotelier who’s running this small hotel. It’s going to be a sort of slightly posh boutique hotel in the Caribbean with a multicultural staff because that’s the world of hotels.

"And there’ll be no one in except Basil."

The story will then focus on Basil's relationship with his illegitimate daughter and how the hotel manager fares in the modern world.

John Cleese in Fawlty Towers in 1975
John Cleese in Fawlty Towers in 1975. Picture: Alamy

Castle Rock Entertainment, which made Seinfeld and was co-founded by Spinal Tap star Rob Reiner, will produce the new series.

Reiner, his wife and actress Michele Reiner, director and producer Matthew George and Derrick Rossi will serve as executive producers.

Cleese told the PA news agency: “What I like about Matt is that, unlike many producers, he really ‘gets’ the creative process.

"When we first met, he offered an excellent first idea, and then Matt, my daughter Camilla, and I had one of the best creative sessions I can remember.

"By dessert we had an overall concept so good that, a few days later, it won the approval of Rob and Michele Reiner.

“Camilla and I look forward enormously to expanding it into a series.”

Filming for the show is expected to begin in 2024

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