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Last Updated: Wednesday, 8 October, 2003, 11:54 GMT 12:54 UK
'Fawlty' hotel saved from threat
Prunella Scales and John Cleese
Cleese based the series on the Gleneagles Hotel's owner
The hotel that inspired the classic BBC sitcom Fawlty Towers has been saved from demolition.

Torbay Council in Devon decided it would be against its tourism policy to replace the Gleneagles Hotel in Torquay with a block of 25 flats, reports said.

John Cleese stayed at the hotel in 1971 and was fascinated with the eccentric behaviour of owner Donald Sinclair.

Cleese later described Mr Sinclair - who died in 1981 - as "the most wonderfully rude man I have ever met".

The Monty Python team stayed in the hotel while they were filming. Mr Sinclair is said to have thrown Eric Idle's suitcase out of the window thinking it was a bomb.


He is also said to have told off Terry Gilliam for not straightening his cutlery on the plate after he had eaten.

In August, developers described the building as "unattractive with little architectural merit" and offered to turn it into flats.

A staff member at the hotel told BBC News Online the 25 staff were "delighted" hotel was not being torn down, and said the hotel - which has been put up for sale - "will be open for business as normal".

He said the hotel still got a lot of customers who wanted to stay at the hotel because of its connection to the comedy.

Fawlty Towers has proved to be one of the most enduring sitcoms in TV history. Despite only running for 12 episodes, it regularly tops polls of favourite TV shows.

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