Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 28 September 2020

Fawlty Towers episode 'The Germans' to return on UKTV

The episode was taken off the platform for containing 'racial slurs', but will now be available to stream with a warning

John Cleese, Connie Booth and Andrew Sachs in an episode of 'Fawlty Towers'. Photo by Shutterstock 
John Cleese, Connie Booth and Andrew Sachs in an episode of 'Fawlty Towers'. Photo by Shutterstock 

An episode of the 1970s sitcom Fawlty Towers is set to be reinstated to the streaming service UKTV after it was removed for featuring “racial slurs”.

The 1975 episode titled The Germans contains the famous phrase “don’t mention the war” uttered repeatedly by the lead character Basil Fawlty.

In a statement by the BBC-owned streaming service, UKTV said the episode will be available on the platform “in the coming days” and will include a warning about “offensive content and language”.

The decision to pull the show from the platform was criticised by John Cleese, the actor who played the main character Basil and who co-wrote the show.

Cleese wrote on Twitter, “I would have hoped that someone at the BBC would understand that there are two ways of making fun of human behaviour. One is to attack it directly. The other is to have someone who is patently a figure of fun, speak up on behalf of that behaviour.”

The episode features a scene where the character of Major Gowen uses racist language against West Indians cricket team. He also refers to Indian people by another racial slur used in the UK.

The Germans also includes a scene where Cleese’s character performs an impersonation of Adolf Hitler.

A UKTV statement said: “We already offer guidance to viewers across some of our classic comedy titles, but we recognise that more contextual information can be required on our archive comedy, so we will be adding extra guidance and warnings to the front of programmes to highlight potentially offensive content and language.”

“We will continue to look at what content is on offer as we always have done,” the statement also said.

Updated: June 13, 2020 05:41 PM

Editor's Picks
Sign up to our daily email
Most Read