John Cleese back as Basil Fawlty in new Specsavers ad

John Cleese, the actor and comedian, reprises his Basil Fawlty character from Fawlty Towers for Specsavers' new TV ad.

The ad was created by Specsavers in-house team, who worked with Cleese to develop the script.

The spot references an old scene from Fawlty Towers and opens on Cleese getting into an argument with his car’s voice control and then thrashing it with a tree branch – only to discover too late that his poor eyesight has made him confuse a nearby police car with his own.

It ends with the brand’s long-running "should’ve gone to Specsavers" line.

The ad first aired on 3 January and promotes Specsavers’ 25 per cent discount for over-60s. It was directed by Tim Bullock – who also shot the "vet" and "bingo" ads for the brand – through Blink.


Manning Gottlieb OMD handled the media planning and buying.

Graham Daldry, the creative director at Specsavers, said: "We realised that bringing back Basil Fawlty would have relevance for our brand some time ago, and we were delighted that John Cleese was so positive about working with us.

"We believe that the outcome succeeds in revisiting one of the most memorable moments in British comedy in a way that is essentially Specsavers."

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