Bring back Fawlty Towers, say British TV fans

A new survey reveals that the classic Torquay-set sitcom is the show most viewers want to see back on the telly

Fawlty Towers is the number one programme that British viewers want to see brought back to TV, according to the results of a new survey.

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In fact, the John Cleese and Connie Booth-scripted sitcom set in a Torquay hotel clinched the top spot with just under a third of the total vote in a poll of 2000 people carried out by Freeview.

22% of the survey’s sample plumped for One Foot in the Grave as the show they’d most like to resurrect, giving the OAP-centred sitcom second place in the poll, and Jim Henson’s charming The Muppet Show came third with 18%.

‘70s sitcom The Good Life was the respondents’ fourth-most popular choice, earning 17% of the vote, and the retro action-packed drama series The A Team came fifth with 9%.

Unfortunately though, those Fawlty fans wanting to see more of Basil, Sybil, Polly and Manuel are unlikely ever to have their wish granted. Speaking to The Guardian in 2009 about the decision to end the show, John Cleese said: “[Connie and I] both felt we had done our best. We just knew if we did more it wouldn’t be as good.”

And, despite sharing an idea for a Fawlty Towers film which would have involved Basil hijacking a plane while travelling to to Spain, Cleese conceded: “I don’t think I ever mentioned it to Connie. We didn’t put a single line down.”

A shame. But still, you can remind yourself of Fawlty’s brilliance this Sunday at 6:30pm, when the riotous episode Basil the Rat will be playing on BBC2.

Here are the survey’s ten most-wanted TV returns in full:

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1.      Fawlty Towers
2.      One Foot in the Grave
3.      The Muppet Show
4.      The Good Life
5.      The A-Team
6.      Birds of a Feather
7.      Dad’s Army
8.      The Bill
9.      The Office
10.    The Generation Game