Torquay's real-life Fawlty Towers hotel demolished

By Sophie Witts contact

- Last updated on GMT

Torquay's real-life Fawlty Towers hotel demolished
The hotel that inspired John Cleese to create the sitcom Fawlty Towers is being demolished and replaced with retirement homes.

Torquay’s Gleneagles Hotel formed a basis for the series after Cleese visited with his Monty Python co-stars in 1971.

The comedian famously dubbed hotel owner Donald Sinclair ‘the most wonderfully rude man I have ever met’ and later used him as a template for the character of Basil Fawlty.

Sinclair sold the hotel in 1973 and it was later managed by Best Western.

The 41-room three-star site ceased trading in 2015 and is being developed by Churchill Retirement Living in to 32 retirement flats.

Famous incidents involving Sinclair included him throwing a timetable at a guest who asked when the next bus was due and hiding Eric Idle’s bag behind a wall in the garden because he thought it might contain a bomb.

Idle claims he asked Sinclair: “Why would anyone want to bomb your hotel?” To which the hotelier replied: “We’ve had a lot of staff problems lately.”

Related topics: Hotels, Venues


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