Fawlty Towers to make epic BBC return next week – but with original 'racist remarks' edited out

FAWLTY Towers will return to the BBC next week – but with some original 'racist remarks' edited out.

The iconic comedy classic is thought to feature as part of the Festival of Funny, with 12 episodes airing from Monday.

While fans will be pleased to see its return, some scenes have had to been edited after viewers were left outraged by episodes streamed on UKTV.

One of the episodes in question saw Major Gowen in an explosive rant which was deemed highly offensive.

Originally airing in 1975, the character used a derogatory sly when referring to the West Indies cricket team.

After the episode was removed from the streaming service, actor John Cleese hit back to defend the sitcom, which was his creation.


Cleese, who plays Basil Fawlty, branded UKTV "gutless" for cutting the episode.

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

"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?"

Another iconic episode that coined the phrase “don’t mention the war” was also sacked from the service.

It comes after Cleese gave in and agreed with the slur being removed from a repeat episode that was being shown on BBC2.

Some viewers claimed the broadcaster was "airbrushing history" by remove the derogatory term, as the character is supposed to represent "old bigots incongruous with modern society".

The BBC explained that in order to comply with Ofcom restrictions, it was necessary to remove the offensive language.

Fawlty Towers is the latest “classic” British TV show to be altered as broadcasters continue to re-assess old television content.

Both Little Britain and Come Fly With Me have been removed from Netflix, BBC iPlayer and BritBox after controversy over the use of blackface characters.

The series, starring Matt Lucas and David Walliams, are no longer available to watch on the online streaming sites amid the Black Lives Matter protests.

BBC and BritBox both confirmed the TV shows have been taken down, telling viewers: "Times have changed."

Episodes will be aired by the BBC from March 15.

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