Fawlty Towers

Letter from the editor: Only in America

I know this is the equivalent of asking you to look at my holiday snaps, but yesterday I promised to share with you a couple of small reflections from my recent break in California.

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.

Travel by numbers: Rome

Angels or demons? As the Red Devils await the Champions League final, Ben Ross keeps score in the Eternal City

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

Nerds united in hit sitcom

It may not be to everyone's taste, but The IT Crowd doesn't 'do' edgy. And that's precisely why James Rampton likes it

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.