A Touch of Class

Series 1 - Episode 1 A Touch of Class



There’s a wonderful black-and-white photograph of John Cleese and Connie Booth writing the scripts for this sitcom colossus. With its pot of tea and relaxed air, it’s a quaint, genteel English scene, a bit like the quieter moments of their immaculate creation. But we all know that FT was a frenetic, draining experience, its antihero Basil Fawlty a heart attack waiting to happen.

Back-to-back episodes may prove too exhausting, so you’re better off dipping in every now and then. We all have our favourite moments: perhaps the Major dumbfounded by a talking moose (“I can speak English”); the plaintive cry of guest-star Geoffrey Palmer (“I’m a doctor and I want my sausages”); Polly ad-libbing furiously while dinner is prepared off-site (“I’m just a girl who can’t say no…”); or the astonishing physicality of Cleese when he trips over a gnome (“Give it to me, give it to me… aaAAH!” Is there any more to be said about the show’s comic legacy? No FT, no comment.


In the first episode of the classic sitcom, beleaguered and badgered hotelier Basil Fawlty tries to attract a better class of clientele, but ends up being taken to the cleaners by the first seemingly upper-crust customer to check in. Starring John Cleese, Prunella Scales, Andrew Sachs and Connie Booth.

Cast & Crew

Basil Fawlty John Cleese
Sybil Fawlty Prunella Scales
Alex Emanuel Andrew Sachs
Polly Connie Booth
The Major Ballard Berkeley
Lord Melbury Michael Gwynne
Danny Brown Robin Ellis
Mrs MacKenzie David Simeon
Mr Wareing Terence Conoley
Mr Watson Lionel Wheeler
Director John Howard Davies
Writer John Cleese
Writer Connie Booth
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