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Don’t mention the lockdown - Couple pay homage to comedy great with Covid-19 Fawlty Towers sketch

PUBLISHED: 11:44 09 May 2020 | UPDATED: 11:44 09 May 2020

Paul Goldsmith and Katherine Vince, who have recorded a Fawlty Towers lockdown sketch. Pictures: Paul Goldsmith

Paul Goldsmith and Katherine Vince, who have recorded a Fawlty Towers lockdown sketch. Pictures: Paul Goldsmith

Paul Goldsmith

How would Basil Fawlty and his wife Sybil cope with lockdown?

Paul Goldsmith and Katherine Vince as Basil and Sybil Fawlty. Picture: Paul GoldsmithPaul Goldsmith and Katherine Vince as Basil and Sybil Fawlty. Picture: Paul Goldsmith

That peculiar scenario is explored in a new hilarious YouTube sketch, created by a Norfolk couple.

Paul Goldsmith and Katherine Vince, both of Blofield, spent a weekend imagining how John Cleese’s timeless character would have coped with the Covid-19 pandemic - and created a 10-minute sketch with their ideas.

The pair have dubbed the hysterical sketch, which they scripted, filmed and edited in the space of a weekend, the unofficial 13th episode of Fawlty Towers.

In it the erratic and idiosyncratic hotelier and his ever-demanding wife attempt to adjust to life under coronavirus lockdown, with typically disastrous results.

Paul Goldsmith and Katherine Vince, who have recorded a Fawlty Towers lockdown sketch. Pictures: Paul GoldsmithPaul Goldsmith and Katherine Vince, who have recorded a Fawlty Towers lockdown sketch. Pictures: Paul Goldsmith

The 10-minute episode features the pair arguing over which type gloves they ought to be wearing, how to do video calls and exploring ways of keeping their Torquay-based hotel afloat.

And its highlight features the characteristically hilarious moment of Mr Fawlty attempting to explain over the phone to accident-prone Spanish porter Manuel just what furlough means.

Mr Goldsmith, 42, said: “We are both performers and have always been huge fans of Fawlty Towers. Before lockdown, we used to put on Fawlty-themed shows but obviously we had to find some other way of amusing ourselves and expressing ourselves creatively.

“We got thinking about how Basil and Sybil would have been in lockdown and it just went from there really. Now more than ever before we all need to laugh, so we really hope the sketch will give people the laughs they need.”

Screenshot from Paul Goldsmith and Katherine Vince's Fawlty Towers sketch. Picture: Paul GoldsmithScreenshot from Paul Goldsmith and Katherine Vince's Fawlty Towers sketch. Picture: Paul Goldsmith

The pair are already ingrained in the world of local show business through their work with Twisted Reality Theatre and Ms Vince’s role as a drama lecturer at the University of East Anglia.

Mr Goldsmith has also been entertaining youngsters during the lockdown through a series of online sessions called Pyjama Drama.

He added: “I think what I love most about playing Basil Fawlty is he just has a way of saying things that others would like to say, but don’t. He’s a timeless character.”

Ms Vince added: “I love Sybil - she’s so calm and collected but just always rubs Basil up the wrong way. It’s a joy to play her.”

Screenshot from Paul Goldsmith and Katherine Vince's Fawlty Towers sketch. Picture: Paul GoldsmithScreenshot from Paul Goldsmith and Katherine Vince's Fawlty Towers sketch. Picture: Paul Goldsmith

The episode, which has been watched more than 1,500 times, can be viewed by searching for Paul Andrew Goldsmith on YouTube or on this newspaper’s website.


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