Monday 24 October 2016

Basil should have gone to Specsavers as John Cleese thrashes the wrong car

Published 24/12/2015 | 13:21

John Cleese is back as fraught Basil Fawlty in an ad for Specsavers
John Cleese is back as fraught Basil Fawlty in an ad for Specsavers

John Cleese has returned to the role of misanthropic hotelier Basil Fawlty for the first time on TV in 36 years.

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The 76-year-old actor has re-made the famous 1975 Fawlty Towers sketch in which he gives his broken-down car a "damn good thrashing".

The sketch is brought up to date, with the disobedient car's satnav telling an irate Basil: "Sorry, I didn't get that".

The remake is part of an advertisement for Specsavers - but when Basil intends to punish his car, eyesight problems mean he instead finds himself thrashing the police car parked in front.

On rewriting the famous car scene, the actor and comedian said: "A lot of people have sent me Fawlty Towers scripts, or Basil scripts, and they were always absolutely awful.

"But these people had an idea, and I have to say, I met them and they were all very nice, and within 20 minutes we'd written the script. Because it was kind of obvious. And I looked at that, and I thought, no I think that will work and it's genuinely funny."

Cleese added: "A lot of people spot there's elements of Basil's behaviour that's exactly like they behave. And there are other people, I think, that don't want to admit that. So they kind of look at Basil and say: 'Look at that fellow over there!'

"But actually, there's a bit of Basil in most people if they're sufficiently stressed."

Press Association

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