Fawlty Towers’ famous ‘don’t mention the war!’ episode temporarily removed from UKTV

The episode is being reviewed as broadcasters continue to reappraise media from years gone by.

The Manc The Manc - 12th June 2020

An episode of Fawlty Towers has been pulled from UKTV schedules, with the broadcaster performing a “review” due to racial slurs appearing in the programme.

‘The Germans’, the sixth episode of John Cleese and Connie Booth’s 1970s sitcom, is best remembered for its famous snatch of dialogue where hotel owner Basil Fawlty (played by Cleese) repeatedly tells staff: “Don’t mention the war!”.

Cleese performs an impersonation of Adolf Hitler during the episode, which also contains offensive language uttered by character Major Gowen regarding the West Indies.

A UKTV spokesperson stated: “We regularly review older content to ensure it meets audience expectations and are particularly aware of the impact of outdated language.

“Some shows carry warnings and others are edited. We want to take time to consider our options for this episode.”


Fawlty Towers is the latest piece of media to receive fresh scrutiny in the wake of the Black Lives Matter movement – which has encouraged companies to address racism both within their organisation and in the content they produce.

Little Britain, The Mighty Boosh, and League of Gentlemen have all been taken down from selected streaming services in recent days, as well as Oscar-winning movie Gone With The Wind.