Sep. 19, 1975
30 min.
BBC TWO TV Network

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Fawlty Towers (UK) tv show photo

Fawlty Towers (UK)

Fawlty Towers is a British sitcom made by the BBC and first broadcast on BBC2 in 1975. Only twelve episodes were produced, but the series has had a lasting and powerful influence on later shows. The show is set in a fictional hotel Fawlty Towers in the Devon town of Torquay on the "English Riviera".

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Manuel Fawlty Towers (UK)
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  Played by:
Andrew SachsAndrew Sachs
Andrew Sachs was born on April 7, 1930 in Berlin, Germany as Andreas Siegfried Sachs. He was an actor ...

Character Bio

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Manuel, a waiter played by Andrew Sachs, is a well-meaning but disorganised and confused Spaniard from Barcelona with a poor grasp of the English language and customs. He is verbally and physically abused by his boss. When told what to do, he often answers, "¿Qué?" ("What?"). Manuel's character is used to demonstrate Basil's instinctive lack of sensitivity and tolerance. Every episode involves Basil becoming enraged at Manuel's confusion at his boss's bizarre demands and even basic requests. Manuel is afraid of Fawlty's quick temper and violent assaults, yet often expresses his appreciation for being given employment. He is relentlessly enthusiastic and is proud of what little English he knows.
During the series, Sachs was twice seriously injured while playing Manuel. Cleese describes using a real metal pan to knock him unconscious in "The Wedding Party", although he would have preferred to use a rubber one. The original producer/director, John Howard Davies, explains that he made Basil use a metal one and that he was responsible for most of the violence on the show, which he felt was essential to the type of comical farce that they were creating. Later, when his clothes were treated to give off smoke after he escapes the burning kitchen in "The Germans", the corrosive chemicals ate through them and gave Sachs severe burns.
Manuel's exaggerated Spanish accent is part of the humour of the show. The actor Andrew Sachs's original language is German; he immigrated to Britain as a child.
The character's nationality was switched to Italian (and the name to Paolo) for the Spanish dub of the show, while in Catalonia Manuel is a Mexican.

Episode Screenshots

01x03 - The Wedding Party (a.k.a. Sex)
Season 1, Episode 03
02x06 - Basil the Rat (a.k.a. Rats)
Season 2, Episode 06
02x02 - The Psychiatrist
Season 2, Episode 02
01x04 - The Hotel Inspectors
Season 1, Episode 04
[More Episodes]

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