Fawlty Towers: Season 2, Episode 5

The Anniversary (26 Mar. 1979)

TV Episode  |  TV-PG  |   |  Comedy
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Ratings: 8.6/10 from 624 users  
Reviews: 3 user | 1 critic

Basil plans a surprise anniversary party for Sybil but, thinking he's forgotten it again, she walks out just before the guests arrive.



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Episode complete credited cast:
Ken Campbell ...
Robert Arnold ...
Pat Keen ...
Roger Hume ...
Denyse Alexander ...
Christine Shaw ...
Ballard Berkeley ...
Gilly Flower ...
Renee Roberts ...


Outraged that Basil has forgotten their 15th wedding anniversary, Sybil leaves the hotel. But little does she know that Basil has indeed remembered and has invited some of their close friends to celebrate. How will Basil explain Sybil's absence? Written by Nadia Nassar

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Release Date:

26 March 1979 (UK)  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Ken Campbell replaced Julian Holloway as Roger at short notice when industrial action delayed shooting and the latter could not make the week-later shoot. See more »


The anniversary party is meant to be at night, with Paella for dinner. When Basil comes out of the kitchen after the exchange with Manuel and Polly, Ms Tibbs and Ms Gatsby greets him with "Good Morning Mr. Fawlty" to which he replies naturally "Good Morning". See more »


Manuel: [helping Basil improvise an excuse for his wife's absence at their anniversary party] Is surprise party?
Basil Fawlty: Yes!
Manuel: She no here.
Basil Fawlty: Right.
Manuel: That is surprise!
See more »

Crazy Credits

This is the only occasion on which the altered sign in the opening credits is a true anagram of "Fawlty Towers" See more »


Referenced in The John Cleese Interview (1998) See more »

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User Reviews

Fancy Footwork
10 May 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

For the first time (except maybe in "Gourmet Night"), Basil really makes an effort to do something nice for someone - and it of course goes totally sour. "The Anniversary" takes the meaning of 'fancy footwork' to a whole new level. The storyline itself is definitely not the best or most entertaining of the series, but it's still fairly fun. Basil and Sybil have had a fight over Basil forgetting their 15th wedding anniversary - but Basil didn't really forget - he's throwing a surprise party. Meanwhile, Manuel and Terry the chef fight over who will cook the Spanish Paella for The Fawlty's anniversary dinner. The performances are good (namely Ken Campbell as Roger, the wise party guest who isn't fooled by Basil's lies as to why Sybil isn't at the party). Una Stubbs is also a very good addition to the cast, playing the ultra-sweet friend Alice (wife of Roger), with a high-register soprano vocal inflection. There are a few good short bits between Basil and Manuel, particularly the one where Basil sneaks away from the madness for a quick drink of booze, only to be interrupted once again by Manuel, who only exacerbates things once again.

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