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Torquay’s famous 'Fawlty Towers' hotel due to be demolished

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The hotel in Torquay made famous by John Cleese’s classic comedy Fawlty Towers is due to be knocked down and turned into retirement flats.

Cleese was inspired to create the 1970s sitcom and its eccentric hotel owner Basil Fawlty after staying at the Gleneagles Hotel in Torquay. He described the hotel’s then owner, Donald Sinclair, as "the most marvellously rude man I've ever met."

During the early seventies, Cleese and the Monty Python team briefly stayed at the hotel while filming, and Sinclair is said to have thrown Eric Idle’s briefcase out of the window, claiming that it was a bomb. The team were disturbed enough to eventually move to a different hotel.

The three-star hotel ceased trading early this year and Churchill Retirement Living applied to use the site for 36 retirement apartments. The original proposal was turned down by Torbay Council's development management committee, however revised plans for a smaller scheme have been given the green light – spelling the end for comedy’s most famous lodging house.

Local councillor Mark King, described the scheme as “the best result” for the area.

“This is a great outcome for the iconic Gleneagles Hotel site and I look forward to seeing the new development taking shape,” He told the Western Morning News.

Although it only ran for 12 episodes between 1975-1979, Fawlty Towers was voted as the British Film Institute's greatest television programme of all-time in 2000.

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The hotel in Torquay made famous by John Cleese’s classic comedy Fawlty Towers is due to be knocked down and turned into retirement flats.
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