Cleese will co-star along with Alison Steadman (“Orphan Black,” “The Adventures of Baron Munchausen”) in “Edith,” a six-part comedy series created and written by Oscar-nominated screenwriter Charles McKeown (“Brazil”). Cleese and Steadman previously played husband and wife in the 1986 film “Clockwise.”
The series follows a widow — named Edith, of course — whose life is put on hold after her son hits rock bottom and moves back in with her. Cleese will play Phil, an old boyfriend and neighbor of Edith’s who dreams of marrying her. On the day she finally says yes to his proposal, her son Roger appears on her doorstep.
“Edith” also stars Jason Watkins (“Taboo,” “Being Human”) as Roger, with Jessica Haynes, Anne Reid, Rosie Cavaliero, James Cosmo, and Peter Egan.
“These are the most enjoyable scripts I’ve been sent in the last 100 years,” Cleese said in the announcement. “It will also be particularly nice to work with Alison again since we joined forces in Clockwise all that time ago.”
The series was commissioned by Shane Allen, head of comedy at the BBC, and Charlotte Moore, the director of BBC content.
Cleese’s “Fawlty Towers,” which ran for two series and 12 episodes in 1975 and 1979, took the top slot in the BFI TV 100, a list of the greatest TV shows of all time as compiled by the British Film Institute.