It’s been 45 years since the Fawlty Towers episode ‘The Germans’ first aired on the BBC, in which Basil Fawlty coined the memorable line: ‘Don’t mention the war’. Perhaps now though it would be more apt to say, ‘don’t mention Fawlty Towers’.
Last night the Guardian reported that the video streaming site UKTV (which is owned by the BBC) has removed the episode from its catalogue, in the wake of Black Lives Matters protests around the country. It follows the move by streaming sites such as Netflix and iPlayer to remove the shows Little Britain and The League of Gentlemen from view, because of their alleged capacity to inspire racial hatred.
It is not yet known which part of the Fawlty Towers episode incurred the wrath of the censors at UKTV – it may have been Basil’s goose-stepping around the room in front of his German guests, his distaste at having a black doctor at the beginning of the episode, or perhaps his ill-treatment of the Spanish waiter Manuel. UKTV even refused to confirm whether the removal of the episode is permanent. All we know for sure is that those looking to watch one of the greatest bits of comedy to air in Britain will be sorely disappointed if they use the site.
Get them while you still can…
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