across the pond

John Cleese Is Returning to British Television to Bring You All the Silly Laughs You Need

Photo: Clemens Bilan/Getty Images

The only appropriate way to celebrate the following news is with some tasty Venezuelan beaver cheese. John Cleese will be returning to British television in a starring role — the first time since his seminal series Fawlty Towers ended in 1979 — for the new BBC sitcom Edith. The six-part series will find Cleese starring opposite fellow British comedy bigwig Alison Steadman as a couple named Phil and Edith who live across the street from each other; after a long pursuit, the “widowed Edith agrees to marry Phil and they plan to follow the sun and move abroad.” However, when Edith’s 50-year-old son unexpectedly moves back home after leaving his job and his wife, the lovebirds’ plans are tarnished for the time being. “These are the most enjoyable scripts I’ve been sent in the last 100 years,” Cleese, who had previously vowed to never work with the BBC again, said in a statement. “It will also be particularly nice to work with Alison again.” (The duo previously starred as husband and wife in the 1986 comedy Clockwise.)

While no time frame has been established for when Edith is expected to air, there’s a nice connection to Cleese’s other monumental sketch series, Monty Python’s Flying Circus: All six episodes will be written by Charles McKeown, who’s been intertwined with numerous Python members since the ’70s, perhaps most prominently as the co-writer of the acclaimed Brazil with Terry Gilliam.

John Cleese Returning to British Television for a New Sitcom