John Cleese to star in his first sitcom for the broadcaster since Fawlty Towers ended in 1979

He vowed never to work at the BBC again – but John Cleese is finally returning to the broadcaster for his first sitcom since Fawlty Towers.06035460

The 77-year-old actor – also known for Monty Python and Clockwise – will star in Edith, playing the lovelorn ex-boyfriend of Alison Steadman, who will take the title role.

The series is expected to air later this year, nearly four decades after Fawlty Towers ended in 1979.

Mr Cleese was effusive about the new project: ‘These are the most enjoyable scripts I’ve been sent in the last 100 years. It will also be particularly nice to work with Alison again since we joined forces in Clockwise all that time ago,’ he said.

The thrice-married actor will play Phil, a romantic who is trying to persuade his old flame Edith to marry him and move to sunnier climes.

She finally relents after months of refusing him, leaving Mr Cleese’s character elated. However, his joy quickly turns to disappointment when Edith’s 50-year-old son Roger turns up, and announces he is moving home after leaving his job and his family.

Mr Cleese may have joined the project because of its writer Charles McKeown, who has previously worked with Mr Cleese’s Monty Python collaborator Terry Gilliam.

Yesterday, the BBC’s controller of comedy commissioning said: ‘If you had carte blanche on your fantasy BBC1 comedy cast then you’d not be far off the Edith line-up.

It’s also a huge pleasure to welcome John Cleese back to the land of BBC sitcom – his last one did all right.’

John Torode reveals he doesn’t socialise with Masterchef co-host Gregg Wallace… despite being his best man last year

TV chef John Torode has admitted he has never been friends with his MasterChef co-host Gregg Wallace.MASTERCHEF ' S JOHN TORODE AND GREGG WALLACE WITH TV PRESENETR D

They may have a matching passion for food, but the presenter told how the pair have had vicious arguments while filming and have never been to each other’s houses.

John, 51, who has been a judge on the show with Gregg for 12 years, said: ‘It’s funny, we’ve never been friends. We’ve not been to each other’s houses’.

‘He’s so OCD, he wouldn’t know what to do.

‘If we go away to somewhere like South Africa, we do things separately.

‘If we do go out for a drink, I’ll invariably be at one end of a big old table and he’ll be at the other.’

The pair reportedly met during John’s early career working at central London restaurant Quaglino’s, which served vegetables supplied by Wallace.

‘If we do go out for a drink, I’ll invariably be at one end of a big old table and he’ll be at the other.’

The pair reportedly met during John’s early career working at central London restaurant Quaglino’s, which served vegetables supplied by Wallace.67351126

They later began presenting and judging the popular BBC cooking series when it was revamped in 2005.

John was best man at Gregg’s wedding to Anne-Marie Sterpini last year.

But the Australian chef told how disagreements over their hopeful cooks’ dishes on the show have been known to continue away from the cameras.

Describing how they once had a ‘massive fight’ over a contestant after a few too many drinks, he told the Daily Mirror: ‘We’ve had a couple of stand-offs over the years. I’ve just had to walk away from him.’STRICTLY COME DANCING - BEHIND THE SCENES

John’s candid words come just days after Gregg gushed about their close relationship during an interview on ITV’s Lorraine on Thursday.

‘I have a very close relationship with John,’ he said, adding that during his tumultuous stint on Strictly Come Dancing in 2014 John was the person he called for reassurance.

‘I didn’t particularly enjoy Strictly – I phoned John in tears and said I was having a tough time.’

‘People don’t realise how close we are – he was my best man – he’s close to me 7/8 months of the year. What’s great about the partnership is that if one of us is down the other perks us up.’

‘We’re very close to each other physically and emotionally. We trust each other,’ he admitted.

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British aristocrat Lady Victoria Hervey fears Mel B’s husband secretly taped her having a wild drunken threesome with the couple at their Hollywood home

Socialite Lady Victoria Hervey fears that Mel B’s husband secretly filmed her during a drunken threesome at the couple’s Hollywood home.


The 40-year-old British aristocrat was crushed when she discovered ex Spice Girl Mel had filed a restraining order against Stephen Belafonte claiming he had forced her to have sex with other women and had threatened to release the covert tapes.

Lady Victoria – the sister of the Marquess of Bristol and a friend of Britain’s young royals – packed her bags and went into hiding after hearing the news.

‘She is absolutely mortified that her sex life could become public property,’ a close friend tells in an exclusive interview.

‘The last thing she wants is to star in a sordid sex tape or to have horrible details of her private life dragged through the divorce courts.’MelBStephen

Scary Spice Mel filed for divorce last week, then on Monday obtained a restraining order claiming her film producer husband had extorted her into threesomes with ‘random women.’

She claims he threatened to release covert tapes of the romps ‘if she tried to resist threesomes’ and threatened to destroy her career.

Mel, 41, also claimed he had been violent from the start of their 10-year marriage, choking and punching her, and constantly belittled her saying she was ‘worthless.’

Now fashion model Lady Victoria fears she has been caught in the midst of the increasingly bitter divorce battle.

She knew Mel vaguely when they both lived in London but after moving to California, they kept bumping into each other at parties and struck up a friendship.

When Mel appeared on Dancing with the Stars in 2007, Victoria went along for the after party and the trio got rip roaring drunk.

‘They all ended back at Mel and Stephen’s mansion drinking red wine and tequila,’ the friend tells

‘Mel suggested they all go in the bedroom so they didn’t wake up her daughters. It seemed logical at the time but afterwards Lady V felt it was a ruse to seduce her.
‘She barely remembers the actual encounter with Mel and Stephen, it was a drunken blur.

‘Stephen started caressing Lady V, then Mel joined in, kissing her. Lady V barely remembers what happened.

‘She just recalls waking up the next morning in their bed and being really mortified.

‘Mel and Stephen acted like nothing unusual had happened but Lady V could not wait to get away.

‘She had never done anything like that before and she was really embarrassed.

‘Afterwards she went out of her way to avoid bumping into them in Hollywood.’

Details of the threesome emerged at the weekend – days after mom-of-three Mel filed for divorce.

‘Lady V only ever told three friends what happened. Now she’s had to tell her mother and brother and they are not happy,’ says her friend.

‘She feels her reputation is at stake. She was an It Girl back in Britain and is a friend of the royal family. Now she feels she can no longer hold her head high.

‘She doesn’t know if a sex tape actually exists, all she knows is what has been said in Mel’s restraining order.

‘And even if there is no actual tape, she fears the threesome could be used as evidence in the divorce case and her name will be dragged through the mud.

‘She has had nothing to do with Mel or Stephen since the encounter but now she wants to reach out to Mel to try and determine if the sex tape exists.

‘But she was so upset when she heard about it this morning that she just packed her bags and fled.

‘She is too scared to even pick up her cell phone for fear of journalists calling for gossip. She has been crying her eyes out.

‘It is so unfair that her good name is being dragged into this nasty divorce case.’


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