John Cleese Fawlty Towers memorabilia heads to auction

Twenty eight items of rare Fawlty Towers memorabilia are up for grabs at East Bristol Auctions, United Kingdom with the auction closing tomorrow, 30 December. 

The lots inlcude staff signed photographs, signed die cast Corgi car models, signed BAFTA Award programmes, and several rehearsal scripts from the award winning BBC television comedy. 

Devised by John Cleese and Connie Booth, Fawlty Towers was a British TV comedy that was braodcast by the BBC between 1975 and 1979, and has been voted the best British television programme of all time.

The production used rehearsal scripts are sure to be the most popular lots, each of which has an estimate of £2,000 - £3,000.

One rehearsal script is for the episode 'Waldorf Salad', which comprised 97 printed pages and is believed to have belonged to the actress Renee Roberts who played the character Miss Gatsby, a permanent resident at the hotel. 

Fawlty Towers rehearsal script to be auctioned at East Bristol Auctions
Image: East Bristol Auctions


The production used camera script for Waldorf Salad is also available at £2,000 - £3,000. This script is 99 pages on yellow paper and includes camera details and end credits, and is believed to have belonged to the Sound Technician Mike Jones.

The other rehearsal scripts in the auction include The Kipper & the Corpse, The Anniversary, and Basil the Rat.

The Anniversary script is the star lot and is expected to sell for £12,000 as the script includes an unused scene where Basil is found hanging on wisteria outside his bedroom window in an attempt to avoid having sex with his drunken wife Cybil.

Cybil asks Basil:

"Have you gone off the idea?"

Basil replies:

"No dear, I was just getting some fresh air"

The auction is the first substantial sale of John Cleese and Fawlty Towers memorabilia since the 2013 sale of many of Cleese's most cherished possessions, including props from The Holy Grail films, to help fund his £12.5m divorce from fourth wife Alyce Eichelberger.

In 2016 a collection of Monty Python props and models made by modelmaker Valerie Charlton siold for over £200,000 at auction with the top lot being a miniature version of the wooden trojan rabbit from the Holy Grail film, which sold for £9,600.

About your Author:

Adrian Roose has over 30 years’ experience covering all aspects of the rare stamp & memorabilia industry during which he has sold over £50m of unique items, helping build collections for Royalty, household name celebrities and 1,000s of collectors around the world.

Adrian was previously a Director at Stanley Gibbons, a Board Member of Stampex, and Executive Director of Paul Fraser Collectibles, PFC Auctions and JustCollecting, prior to founding The Memorabilia Club.

Back to blog

Leave a comment

Please note, comments need to be approved before they are published.

1 of 3

Selling your memorabilia?

If you have interesting items we'd love to hear from you. We will either buy directly, offer on your behalf, or introduce you to one of our partner auction houses to ensure you achieve the highest price possible, with the lowest commission.