John Cleese on his new sitcom Hold the Sunset: ‘I see a parallel with A Fish Called Wanda’

John Cleese says Hold the Sunset 'was the best script I'd read in 100 years'

John Cleese has compared his new BBC1 comedy Hold the Sunset to his hit 1988 film, A Fish Called Wanda.

Hold the Sunset sees the Monty Python legend playing Phil, a widower rekindling a romance with his first love, and neighbour Edith, played by Gavin & Stacey’s Alison Steadman.

And John says both his new show and the classic movie share the same emotional centre.

“I see a parallel with A Fish Called Wanda where Jamie Lee Curtis and I were the emotional centre and in the same way, Alison and I provide the emotional heart of Hold the Sunet, and the other characters are funnier than we are. I’ve never minded who’s getting the laughs.”

Hold the Sunset

Asked what drew him to the part, the Fawlty Towers star replied: “It was the best script I’d read in 100 years – I loved it. I’ve known the producer Humphrey Barclay since 1961 when we were in Cambridge Footlights. It’s written by Charles McKeown, who played Mr Ingrams in Fawlty Towers.”

Phil and Edith’s world is turned upside down when Edith’s adult son, Roger (Jason Watkins), turns up at the door expecting to move back in after walking out on his wife and children.

Describing Phil, who wants to move to sunny Spain, John said: “Phil’s like me, he sits around making sarcastic remarks!”

Hold the Sunset, starring John Cleese and Alison Steadman, starts this Sunday on BBC1 at 7.30pm.

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