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Last Updated: Monday, 8 September, 2003, 10:39 GMT 11:39 UK
Dial up for BBC comedy clips
John Cleese as Basil Fawlty
Classic sketches from Fawlty Towers will launch the new service
Comedy lovers will soon be able to watch classic sketches such as Basil beating Manuel with a spoon in Fawlty Towers on their mobile phones.

Favourite moments from BBC comedy shows will be made available for download in a deal with the Vodafone network.

This is the first such deal for the BBC and BBC Worldwide expects it to grow rapidly.

Eight 30-second clips from Fawlty Towers will be offered initially, with other shows expected to follow shortly.

The deal was made possible after the show's star, writers and other rights holders agreed to it.

"Licensing BBC comedy sequences to Vodafone Live! is a genuinely groundbreaking deal for us," said BBC Worldwide's commercial broadband & interactive television director Jonathan Crane.

More comedies

"Accessing video via handsets is now a reality for us all, and as demand grows, BBC Worldwide is poised to provide a range of great video content to these new mobile services."

Goodness Gracious Me is also amongst the shows being offered, though a full list has not been made public. It is not known when the clips will be available, but a BBC Worldwide spokeswoman said it would be "sooner rather than later".

Fawlty Towers was chosen because it is one of the BBC's most universally popular shows. The 1970s series, which stars John Cleese, has been shown in countries ranging from Thailand to Russia.

The service will only be available to subscribers to the Vodafone Live! service in the UK.

The clips include Basil, played by Cleese, bashing his car with branches.

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