John Cleese charged with speeding

Fawlty Towers and Monty Python actor John Cleese has been charged with speeding.

The 6ft 5in comedian's Mini Cooper was photographed exceeding a 30mph limit on the A4 at Saltford, between Bath and Bristol, on November 6 last year, Bath Magistrates' Court said.

He is also charged with failing to provide the identity of the driver of the car.

A source said that Cleese, 71, who lives in Bath with his jeweller girlfriend Jennifer Wade, owned the car but was not behind the wheel when it was clocked by a static camera.

The case is due to be heard later this month, though Cleese does not have to attend in person.

The veteran comic is touring the country in his one-man show, the Alimony Tour, so-named because he says it is helping to pay the £12 million divorce settlement awarded to his third wife, psychotherapist Alice Faye Eichelberger, whom he divorced in 2008.

If found guilty of the offences, he would face a possible fine and penalty points added to his licence.

Cleese's fictional character Basil Fawlty, the Torquay hotelier, is famous for having difficulty with a car.

A scene from the 1975 Fawlty Towers episode Gourmet Night is consistently voted one of Britain's favourite comedy scenes.

In it, Cleese's character violently attacks his Austin 1100 with a branch after it breaks down in the street as he searches for food to feed his guests.

His other credits include 1988's A Fish Called Wanda, the Harry Potter films and two James Bond movies.