Fawlty Towers ‘lost scene’ sees Basil hiding outside a window to avoid sex with a drunk Sybil
A lost Fawlty Towers script featuring a scene where Basil hides outside a window to avoid having sex with a drunken Sybil, has emerged.
About 15 minutes’ worth of scenes written for the classic The Anniversary episode did not make it on to the filming stage.
The episode, which first aired in 1979, sees Basil – played by John Cleese – decide to throw a party to celebrate their 15th wedding anniversary, having forgotten the year before.
He pretends to have forgotten again, prompting Sybil to walk out in a row.
Instead of telling his guests, Basil convinces waitress Polly to don Sybil's clothes and pretend to be ill for their friends.
In one of the extra scenes that differed from the final version, Sybil arrives back to the hotel drunk.
Basil and the Wysteria
She then hurriedly gets taken upstairs back to her bedroom by Basil, where Polly, Manuel and Terry the Chef are still tidying up from the earlier deception.
They hide in the room, whilst Sybil attempts to flirt and have sex with Basil as he frantically tries to get the other trio out of the room.
At one point while hiding Sybil, Basil hangs off Wysteria outside their bedroom window.
The script, alongside others that did make it into the programme, are being sold at auction by a private anonymous seller later this month.
Auctioneer Andrew Stowe from East Bristol Auctions hailed the importance of the discovery.
He said: "Fawlty Towers is like sampling a fine wine - there really isn't much of it out there, so to discover some 'extra' script truly is remarkable."
The sitcom, based around the running of a hotel in Torquay, was written by John Cleese and Connie Booth and ran for only 12 episodes across two series in 1975 and 1979.
It is widely regarded as one of the classics of British comedy and won several BAFTAs during its time.
Basil Fawlty was also ranked second in a 2001 Channel 4 poll of the 100 Greatest TV Characters.
Mr Stowe added: "I always find sitcom scripts fascinating, and I happen know the series quite well. As I was cataloguing the collection and flicking through each script, I suddenly spotted some dialogue I didn't recognise in the episode The Anniversary.
"That dialogue then turned into a whole scene, then two scenes, then about half the script. I couldn't believe what I was reading."
The deception continues
In the broadcast episode, the show ends as the guests – who have just been up to see an “ill” Sybil, really Polly in disguise – are leaving and the real Sybil turns up.
The draft script has around 30 additional pages, making up an extra 15 minutes, which sees Polly and Manuel attempting to resolve the situation further, and Sybil becoming more and more involved in the deception.
Mr Stowe added: "A strike at the BBC is probably the reason for the change. The Anniversary had double the length of rehearsal time than any of the other episodes in the series.
"The script and some of the cast changed in between rehearsal and filming due to the extra time and scheduling moves. I suspect the script was 'tightened' in this extra time, thus losing these additional scenes."
The collection of scripts is expected to fetch more than £12,000, with each script being estimated at £2-3,000.
The online-only auction, Fawlty Towers - Don't Mention The Auction!, ends on December 30. The full sale catalogue can be viewed at www.eastbristol.co.uk