Fawlty Towers to make comeback with BBC cutting out ‘racist remarks’ from series

Fawlty Towers will be returning to BBC to cheer up Britain during the Covid-19 pandemic, however, it will have been heavily edited to remove racist comments.

According to The Mirror, the iconic comedy classic will feature as part of the Festival of Funny, showcasing 12 episodes which will air from Monday.

One particular episode, which saw Major Gowen lunge into an offensive rant, left viewers outraged.

The episode in question, which first aired in 1975, saw the character Major Gowen using a derogatory slur when speaking about the West Indies cricket team.

After that particular episode had been axed from a streaming service, John Cleese hit out to defend his own creation, explaining that he was actually making fun of the person using the racist terms.

The veteran actor had something to say about chiefs who opted to cut the episode from the UKTV streaming platform, branding the broadcasting giant as "gutless" for doing so.

Cleese, who plays Basil Fawlty, not only stars in the sketch show but writes it too.

He told The Age newspaper: "If you put nonsense words into the mouth of someone you want to make fun of you're not broadcasting their views, you're making fun of them.

"The major was an old fossil leftover from decades before. We were not supporting his views, we were making fun of them.

"If they can't see that, if people are too stupid to see that, what can one say?"

However, in 2013, Cleese did give in and agree with the word to being removed from the repeat episode which was shown on BB2 pre-watershed.

After the language had been cut, some viewers claimed that the broadcaster had "airbrushed history".

Providing feedback on the BBC's Points of view page, one online user penned: "The major is a racist old bigot, incongruous with modern society.

"The audience isn't supposed to agree with him, they’re supposed to laugh at him."

In order to comply with Ofcom's language guidance, the BBC explained that removing offensive language was compulsory before 9 pm.

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