User:Casliber/Terry (Fawlty Towers)

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Terry is a fictional character played by Brian Hall in the BBC 1 television sitcom Fawlty Towers. His full name is Terry Hughes. He was named after director Terry Hughes of Monty Python Live at the Hollywood Bowl (1982), which Fawlty Towers creator John Cleese also wrote. Terry is the chef at Fawlty Towers in Series 2.

Hall, who'd acted in Softly, Softly: Taskforce and Sweeney 2 in 1978, was approached to play the chef before filming on the second series began. Upon being offered the role, he was asked if he wanted the job. "Is the pope Catholic?" he replied. At the audition, Hall asked Cleese to expand upon the cockney chef character, to which Cleese simply replied, "The police are after him."[1] This gave Hall the inspiration for the shifty and nervous character who was always looking over his shoulder. Impressed, Cleese and Booth added material to increase Terry's presence on screen.[2]


Terry is Fawlty Towers' cockney chef. He lives up to the commonly perceived stereotype: he's a quick witted 'wideboy', who thinks of women before work (for example, in the "Waldorf Salad" episode, he claims he can't do overtime because of karate lessons,[3] while actually he is going out with a Finnish woman). However, he has a big heart and a very sharp mind - he's always finding ways to get out of the tricky situations that Basil Fawlty lands him in.

Terry arrives in the second series after the relief of Kurt (seen only in Gourmet Night); he is quite relaxed towards his work. Basil occasionally gets frustrated with this attitude. Terry used to work in Dorchester, not at The Dorchester (a famous luxury hotel), as was once thought.[1]

Terry claims that he and Polly "basically run the bleeding hotel". In some chaotic situations he proves himself capable of executing orderly and clever manoeuvres. Terry had an argument with Manuel after Basil let Manuel cook paella, much to Terry's dismay.

Terry was introduced in the second series because Cleese and Booth thought that the hotel seemed empty due to its lack of employees.[citation needed] He was the only new regular character to be introduced in the series.


  1. ^ a b McCann 2007, p. 184.
  2. ^ McCann 2007, p. 185.
  3. ^ McCann 2007, p. 204.
  • McCann, Graham (2007). Fawlty Towers: the story of the sitcom. Hodder & Stoughton. ISBN 0340898119. 

External links[edit]

[[Category:Fawlty Towers characters|Terry]] [[Category:Fictional chefs|Terry]]