John Cleese to star in his first BBC sitcom since Fawlty Towers

Details revealed of the former Python’s new comedy Edith, in which he plays a man whose love life is threatened by his intended’s son

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John Cleese is appearing in his first BBC sitcom since Fawlty Towers ended in 1979.

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RadioTimes.com can confirm that he will co-star in new BBC1 comedy Edith as Phil, an old boyfriend of the titular heroine (played by Alison Steadman) who dreams of marrying his lady love and moving to the sun.

After months of turning him down, on the happy day Edith finally says yes to his proposal, there’s a knock on the door – and there on the step, with a large suitcase, is her 50-year-old son Roger (Line of Duty star Jason Watkins) to spoil their plans.  

Written by Charles McKeown, a collaborator with Cleese’s fellow Python Terry Gilliam, the cast also includes Jessica Hynes as Roger’s abandoned wife Wendy, Anne Reid as the interfering housekeeper Mrs Gale and Peter Egan as the confrontational local resident Mr Dugdale.  

BBC head of comedy Shane Allen says, “If you had carte blanche on your fantasy BBC1 comedy cast then you’d not be far off the Edith line-up.

“It’s also a huge pleasure to welcome John Cleese back to the land of BBC sitcom – his last one did alright”.

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Filming of the comedy begins in June for a likely broadcast at the end of the year.