BRACE yourself for a new show that might be about to bring us the next Basil Fawlty.
Producers are creating a programme that searches for the country’s best hotel managers — but that means they will be uncovering some of the worst in the process.
The show searches for the country’s best hotel managers — but that means they will be uncovering some of the worst in the processCredit: BBC
Cleese actually based the despotic character on a real-life hotelierCredit: Alamy
And we know they’re out there because John Cleese, who famously played Fawlty in the classic BBC sitcom, actually based the despotic character on a real-life hotelier.
A TV insider said: “The new programme, which has the working title of Hotel Boss, will put wannabe winners through their paces with a series of challenges, to see if they can deliver five-star service to some tricky customers.
“Some will appear triumphant while others are likely, if not expected, to fail miserably. Either way, it promises to be great entertainment.
“And it can’t fail to conjure up hilarious memories of Basil, who will go down as one of the worst hotel bosses in history.”
John’s inspiration for Fawlty Towers, which became a comedy hit in the Seventies despite only 12 episodes being made, was Devon hotelier Donald Sinclair.
The comedian met him in 1970, when he and the rest of the Monty Python stars stayed at the Gleneagles Hotel in Torquay and encountered his “unique” brand of hospitality.
That included telling Terry Gilliam his table manners were “too American” and placing Eric Idle’s “ticking” suitcase in the garden behind a wall because he suspected it might have contained a bomb.
In fact, it had his alarm clock inside.
Hotel Boss comes from TV production company South Shore, which also made ITV’s Cooking With The Stars with host Emma Willis, as well as George Clarke’s Flipping Fast on Channel 4.
They are about to film the pilot, then there’s likely to be jostling between ITV and Channel 4 to snap it up, because one of those would provide the most fitting home for the show.
If they could get John to host, it might just spark a bidding war between every channel.
Kym Marsh has revealed just how challenging Strictly was after coming within touching distance of the dance final last month.
Recalling her time on the BBC1 show in the new issue of Prima magazine the actress and presenter said: “I learned new skills, new things about myself, lost a fair bit of weight and met some amazing people.
Kym has revealed just how challenging Strictly was after coming within touching distance of the dance finalCredit: PA
Kym Marsh stars on Prima February cover after speaking about her life and career
“I never saw myself as some-one who was up there with the best dancers, but the whole experience taught me to give myself more credit.
I’m proud of what I achieved. I’ve always been open about my struggles with anxiety, and there were times on set where it threatened to take hold.
I was nervous but discovered I could beat it and take control.
That’s the lesson I’ll cherish most. I’ve realised how far I’m able to push myself and overcome things I might think I’m too weak to do.”
Former Corrie actress Kym added: “I want to keep working hard, setting a good example to my kids and spending time with my grand-children.
The past few years have been about setting my sights high and challenging myself – and I’m going to continue to do that. I want to keep testing my limits and proving my capabilities.”
She also discussed her husband, Army Major Scott Ratcliff.
Kym said: “As I’ve got older, it’s become clearer what I need from a partner, and can give in return.
“Scott and I don’t have the luxury of living together full-time, as he spends Monday to Friday in barracks. Every weekend he drives miles just to see me for two days.
Sometimes I’ll say, ‘Darling, you don’t need to drive all that way this weekend.’
He just says, ‘Absolutely not, because there will be lots of times when I can’t get to you.’ He really takes care of me in every way possible.”
THE Masked Singer’s Davina McCall was the talk of Twitter, with fans praising her bold new haircut as the series returned.
But I can reveal the panellist was wearing a luxury wig.
Her stylist, and partner, Michael Douglas let slip she had a £120 wig that she whisked off as soon as cameras stopped rolling
IT’S fair to say that Nitin Ganatra knows his soaps after playing Masood Ahmed in EastEnders for more than a decade.
And the actor reckons Walford’s real competition isn’t from Coronation Street or Emmerdale – but Netflix.
Nitin reckons Walford’s competition is from streaming services like NetflixCredit: BBC
Nitin told me: “Soaps are dramas and I’d like to think they will continue. But the problem they have got is they’re competing with the money. The money is Apple TV, Netflix, Hulu, and all of these new streaming channels.
“Of course, these shows on streaming giants haven’t been going for 35 years, four times a week, like the soaps.
“But with soaps, I think you have to increase the quality and increase the intrigue.
“You have to make it look gorgeous because dramas on Netflix, even low-budget, look beautiful. They look stunning.”
Gazing at Albert Square on a rainy day, he’s not wrong there.
Corden: “Actings my fave”
James Corden is one of telly’s busiest stars – and it’s something he is very aware of after admitting taking on too many jobs.
The actor turned chat show host has recently been reflecting on his career.
He told the Happy Sad Confused podcast: “Look, if I’m being honest, I probably said yes to too many things that came my way.
“And I think I knew that at the time. I said yes to, essentially, almost everything.”
But it sounds like from now on, the Gavin & Stacey star and co-writer will stick to acting.
James, who will step down as host of The Late Late Show this year, added: “I love acting. I like being a member of a cast more than I like hosting a show on my own.
“I knew from minute one when I took this job to host this show it was an adventure, not a final destination.”
COP thriller Happy Valley has made a triumphant final return after five million tuned in for series three on Sunday.
But the BBC drama’s writer Sally Wainwright was already flattered by her show inspiring US broadcaster HBO, which gave us 2021’s Mare of Easttown with Kate Winslet.
Happy Valley has made a triumphant final return after five million tuned in for the series three premierCredit: BBC
Like Happy Valley, which has had Sarah Lancashire as the leading lady since it first aired in 2014, the US hit features a policewoman fighting crime in a small community.
Sally told Variety magazine: “I decided not to watch it because other people say it’s very much like Happy Valley, but it’s not as good.
“And I thought, ‘That’s good enough for me – I can live with that.’
“I just decided it was taking influence from Happy Valley, and took it as sort of a homage.”
I think she’s being very generous there.