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Fawlty Towers

Diary: Ministry for silly honours

After being reminded that John Cleese can understandably take exception to ill-founded fears his funny bone may have been surgically removed in recent years, I would like to place on record the confident belief his best work could still be ahead of him. (Just pretend it's some other bloke in those rubbish AA adverts). Now the old boy proudly informs us that he wouldn't still be plain old Mr Cleese to you and I, if he had seen fit to accept a peerage from Paddy Ashdown back in 1999.

13 years, millions in pay – and one ruined set – as Ross

In his rollercoaster career at the BBC, Jonathan Ross made it his personal mission to prick pomposity and court controversy. So it was perhaps fitting that, after a decade of trashing chatshow etiquette, he should bring down the curtain on his Beeb career by meting out the same treatment to his studio set.

Flight of the Conchords: Slackers turn high-flyers

This Sunday, the UKTV channel Gold will be screening a 30th-anniversary Fawlty Towers reunion documentary, featuring all of the main cast, including, uniquely for such an exercise, Connie Booth. Here lie revealed the inner workings of a show that exorcised John Cleese's comic demons while inspiring six hours of the tightest, most well-worked farce ever made for television. Brilliant but slightly exhausting – something that might also be said of Reggie Perrin – the disinterred and retooled David Nobbs sitcom whose origins are now also well over three decades old.

More headlines

BBC bows to its critics (again)

Jonathan Ross is suspended for 12 weeks over lewd calls; Radio 2 controller quits, taking blame for editorial failures; Governing body orders sweeping review of standards

Ever wondered what it would be like to dine at Fawlty Towers?

You can mention the war if you like, but just don't ask for more butter. Because if you do, your waiter, Manuel, will find an unsuspecting female diner and proceed to head-butt her. Welcome to Faulty Towers: the Dining Experience – a real-life night with Basil, his wife Sybil and the English-mangling Spanish waiter who are abusing audiences at the Edinburgh Festival.