For sale: hotel whose eccentric owner inspired 'Fawlty Towers'

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The Independent Online

The Devon hotel that inspired the BBC comedy series Fawlty Towers has gone on sale for more than £1.5m.

The Devon hotel that inspired the BBC comedy series Fawlty Towers has gone on sale for more than £1.5m.

John Cleese, who helped create the show, based the character of Basil Fawlty on Donald Sinclair, a former owner of the Hotel Gleneagles, in Torquay.

The Monty Python team stayed there while filming in 1971 and Mr Sinclair is said to have endeared himself to the comedians by throwing Eric Idle's briefcase out of a window, thinking that it was a bomb.

He also criticised Terry Gilliam for leaving his knife and fork on his plate at a slight angle, rather than straight, after he had finished a meal, and he is said to have hurled a bus timetable at a guest who asked the time of the next bus into town.

The Python team asked to be transferred to a different hotel but Cleese apparently stayed to observe the manic hotelier.

Gleneagles hotel went on the market this week and the property has already generated "quite a bit of interest", according to the estate agents Christie and Co.

In March this year, Torquay councillors rejected plans to knock down the three-star hotel to make way for 25 luxury apartments.

The modernised hotel, a far cry from the shabby Fawlty Towers, has 41 bedrooms with bathrooms en-suite, a heated outdoor swimming pool, whirlpool bath and solarium.

Peter Addyman, from Christie and Co, said: "With its strong link to the television series and very high repeat business, we are expecting a good level of interest from prospective buyers."

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