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John Cleese returns to Basil Fawlty role in new 'Should Have Gone to Specsavers' campaign

John Cleese has returned to the role of Basil Fawlty and teamed up with Specsavers to recreate one of his most famous moments from sitcom Fawlty Towers.

Cleese has filmed an advert for the opticians which will see him recreate the famous scene in which hotelier Basil Fawlty thrashes a car with a tree branch, and will continue to follow the brand’s long running ’Should Have Gone to Specsavers’ tagline when it turns out to be a police car he is attacking.

A making of video has appeared on YouTube (see above) with scenes from the filming of the advert, speaking to Cleese himself about why he chose to co-write and appear in the campaign.

“A lot of people sent me Fawlty Towers or Basil scripts and they were always absolutely awful but these people had an idea, and I met then, and within 20 minutes we had written the script because it was obvious and I looked at it and thought ‘that will work’. It’s genuinely going to be funny,” explained Cleese during the shoot.

Cleese has not acted the role of Fawlty since the series ended in 1979 after two series but has been rerun ever since by the BBC and internationally, finding success in the US in the process.

The Drum understands that the new advert will first air on 3 January.

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