Sitcom star set to make GB News debut presenting live show from Essex venue

Comedy actor John Cleese, most well-known for his role as the preposterous Basil Fawlty in the hit TV series Fawlty Towers, will be live on the news channel this Sunday, presenting The Dinosaur Hour from 12th-century Hedingham Castle.

For his new ten-part series, Cleese has recreated a famous Monty Python film scene, reprising the role of the French Taunter who mocked King Arthur and his knights when they stopped at a castle controlled by French forces.

In The Dinosaur Hour, the character is brought back to life by the 84-year-old as he asks to be let into the castle playing host to his new series.

Maldon and Burnham Standard: Actor - Fawlty Towers star John CleeseActor – Fawlty Towers star John Cleese (Image: Isabel Infantes/PA Wire)

Discussing how his new show came about, Cleese added the news channel had come to him with “the best offer” he had ever had from a TV company.

“Normally, you have these executives who think they know more about comedy than you do, who tell you what they think is funny”, he said.

“It is like an accountant telling a novelist how to write a plot. But they said, ‘Make ten programmes and you can do exactly what you want,’ which is remarkable.

“I know that a lot of people have it in for GB News and, to be fair, I don’t agree with the opinions of some of its presenters.

“But I have had carte blanche to say what I want and to be as silly or as serious as I want. We may even do a second series.”

Maldon and Burnham Standard: Historic - an aerial shot of Hedingham CastleHistoric – an aerial shot of Hedingham Castle (Image: Broad House Media)

A preview clip from the show has teased upcoming guests including comedian and actor Stephen Fry, media personality Caitlyn Jenner and journalist Sir Trevor McDonald.

Cleese will be in conversation with former Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? host Chris Tarrant for the first episode.

The show will also include an episode on cancel culture, a subject of interest to Cleese, who was in Monty Python’s Life Of Brian, which many argued should be banned when it was released in 1979.

The comedy actor joins the channel’s on-air talent which includes former This Morning host Eamonn Holmes, former Ukip leader Nigel Farage and Conservative MP Sir Jacob Rees-Mogg.

The Dinosaur House debuts on GB News on Sunday at 9pm.