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The former GB News host did not seem pleased at all that the classic British sitcom would return as he vented his frustration on Twitter. Sharing a news article that revealed Fawlty Towers was in talks to return featuring John and his daughter, Camilla Cleese, Piers remarked: “No, no, no. This is a terrible idea,” as he added hands over eye emojis.
More than 40 years after the second and final season drew to a close, the comic is set to write and star alongside daughter Camilla in a new series of the cult classic.
It will explore how John’s cynical Basil Fawlty navigates the modern world.
Plot details are largely being kept under wraps but the development will bring the story forward to explore Basil’s relationship with a daughter he has just discovered he had, as the pair tempt fate and team up to run a boutique hotel.
The Cleese family have joined Reiner’s Castle Rock on the development, with Rob Reiner, Michele Reiner, Derrick Rossi and Matthew George exec producing.
John praised George’s “understanding of the ‘creative process’” and described their first meeting as “one of the best creative sessions I can remember.”
Rob added: “John Cleese is a comedy legend. Just the idea of working with him makes me laugh,” while George described meeting John and Camilla Cleese as “one of the great thrills of my life.”
Although it only ran for two six-part seasons, finishing in 1979, Fawlty Towers has ranked number one on numerous best all-time British comedy lists.
Written by John and Connie Booth, the show followed hapless hotel manager Fawlty and a hilarious cast of characters that included legendary Spanish waiter Manuel (Andrew Sachs), Cleese’s bossy wife Sybil (Prunella Scales) and their chambermaid Polly, played by Booth.
The idea came from John’s stay at a hotel in an English seaside town and the show came to define the “middle England” genre.
The 83-year-old actor and comedian recently asked his 5.6m Twitter followers: “Can anyone (including BBC employees) tell me why the BBC has not shown Monty Python for a couple of decades?”
The question overlooked the BBC’s celebration of the iconic comedy, including the broadcast of the first episode of Monty Python’s Flying Circus, to mark its 50th anniversary in 2019.
John Hoare, a TV playout director, replied to John reminding him of the night dedicated to Python on the BBC.
“I sat in BBC Two’s press suite on the 7th of September 2019, prepped an episode of Monty Python for transmission as part of an evening of Python-related programmes, and then put it on air, if that helps,” Hoare said.
John’s tweet also did not mention rights deals done for the Monty Python back catalogue.
The show and movies, including Monty Python and the Holy Grail, all stream on Netflix in the UK.
That’s TV, a British television channel, also did a deal earlier this year to repeat all four seasons of the comedy, which starred John, Eric Idle, Terry Jones, Graham Chapman, Michael Palin and Terry Gilliam.
The rights to Monty Python are owned by Python (Monty) Pictures. Cleese, Palin, Idle and Gilliam are all executive directors at the UK company.
The actor and comic is soon set to make a documentary for Channel 4 on the subject of free speech.
Responding to John’s question about the BBC, Rob Schneider said: “They haven’t finished editing out the parts that don’t fit into their ideology. Which is the entire series!”
John has complained a number of times about the BBC failing to show Python. In 2020, he said: “The BBC has not put Monty Python out on terrestrial television now for 20 years and young people don’t know about it.
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