John Cleese to bring back Fawlty Towers. | Majorca Daily Bulletin reporter


As a huge fan of the much-loved vintage comedy series, Fawlty Towers, I was horrified to read that comedic actor, John Cleese, intended to bring back the series but in a modern context with him playing a grumpy boutique hotel owner alongside a never before revealed daughter. In real life, Cleese will work on the screenplay with his 38-year-old daughter, a writer, and I can only see disappointment and humiliation lying ahead.

For starters, we now live in a ‘Cancel Culture’ world which means that anyone with a script who dares to be irreverent or to take the mick out of anything or anyone will immediately be in dangerous waters. No one is allowed to be funny these days without accepting that their career could be over in a trice. Cleese himself is the second problem. He hasn’t been funny in years and has become a fairly grumpy old man, partly due to having to pay masses of alimony to his various ex-wives. No doubt he still desperately needs to top up his reserves but really, by destroying the legacy of the very best TV comedy ever?

Could Cleese not have created a new series with his daughter, using fresh material, something squeaky clean and PC that would have delighted American audiences? Without Prunella Scales, Andrew Sachs and Connie Booth, plus the supporting ancient side show members, it simply cannot work. I feel cross with Cleese that he’s even mooted the concept. After all, national treasures should be protected at all times, and this feels like a flagrant breaking of the code of conduct. I hope it never, ever gets off the ground. Bizarrely, an American version was once mooted years ago which sank without trace and of course it would. The US is so utterly PC that it would have offended as soon as it hit the first scene.

There’s little place for audacious comedy anymore and the only way to keep on the straight and narrow is by creating edgy, clever, black comedy that allow for modern perceptions and which keep younger, more woke audiences happy. A case in point is White Lotus, arguably the best thing I’ve watched on a streaming giant in the last two years. It’s dark, wickedly funny and pokes fun in all the right places, often at those with entrenched views, both young and old, without causing real offence.

Diddly Squat

Although few mavericks are allowed to operate in the media these days, one or two bad boys are still proving hugely popular and it’s pretty obvious why. The masses, many of whom pay lip service to our squeaky clean, humourless new world order, secretly indulge in watching and following the likes of Jeremy Clarkson, knowing that they can keep their secret safe. I was shown one of Clarkson’s shows about his farm this week and it was hugely entertaining and frankly, I couldn’t see anything offensive about it. All the same, a friend in London told me that no one admits to watching it even though it rakes in millions of viewers and, despite the media clamour claiming the show would be axed due to Clarkson’s extreme views, it’s just been renewed for a third series on Amazon.

I do think Clarkson made a very big mistake with his recent comments about Meghan Markle. I know she has hardly endeared herself to the planet but she didn’t quite deserve Clarkson’s vitriolic verbal assault. The other big mouthed maverick is of course Piers Morgan who doesn’t give a damn about the consequences of his words and actions. He’s a vain and self-congratulatory creature and why not, given that he has eight million followers on Twitter alone? I do find some of his views abhorrent but frankly, a lot of the time these days, he talks sense. What has the world come to?! I never thought the day would come when I’d be aligned with some of Morgan’s views but there we go. As cancel culture bites, mavericks grow ever more attractive.

Pie in the sky?

Is it a bird, is it a plane, no, it’s a balloon! What fun the media had this week offering screeching headlines about potential UFO spying objects flying into Western airspace, hovering over Lake Huron in the States and homing in on military bases. A white balloon believed to be a Chinese spying device was, after much nail biting by the US government, finally shot down at huge cost. Three other devices were also identified in US and Canadian airspace and targeted. What were they? Were they UFO devices? The excitement was palpable in the press. Inevitably, they’ll be nothing of the sort, that’s if they’re ever found. I really don’t think aliens would be so stupid as to send over hostile spying crafts in plain visibility. Surely, they’d be more subtle about it, and would have something so sophisticated that no one would ever know they’d even taken a view of our humble little planet.