John Cleese shares plot details for upcoming Fawlty Towers reboot, including major character’s death
John Cleese has revealed he’s killed off Basil Fawlty’s wife Sybil in the Fawlty Towers reboot.
It was announced in February that the BBC show would make a return more than 40 years after it went off screen with the 83-year-old and his comedian daughter Camilla, 39, writing new episodes.
Cleese starred as Basil in the sitcom from 1975 to 1979, while actress Prunella Scales, now 90 and living with Alzheimer’s, portrayed his on-screen wife, Sybil.
In anticipation of the revival, the comedic actor has shared several details about it, notably revealing that Sybil, who was often at the receiving end of his character’s insults, has died.
He also confirmed that the series will be set in the Caribbean and will introduce viewers to Basil’s daughter, who is the product of an affair with a hotel guest.
He 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.”
Cleese 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.”
Developed by filmmaker Rob Reiner’s Castle Rock Entertainment, the new series centre around how cynical snob Basil fares in the modern world while also exploring his relationship with his daughter, who he has only recently connected with.