Entertainment & Arts

Andrew Sachs: Memories of the Fawlty Towers actor

Andrew Sachs stops for a photo with local children during a BBC recording Image copyright Lloyd Silverthorne
Image caption Local children posed for a photograph with Andrew Sachs on location in the 1970s

There may have been only 12 episodes of the television series Fawlty Towers but the legacy created by Andrew Sachs as bumbling Spanish waiter Manuel has been demonstrated in the tributes paid to the star on social media.

Of course it was not the actor's only role but perhaps it's fair to say it was his best-known character, and many fans today left simple messages quoting his biggest catchphrases from the TV series.

One of the main hashtags was #AndrewSachs, used by indie band Sistersay, who said simply: "Que? A Wise Man Said "I know nothing!" #andrewsachs Manuel RIP."

Another tweet read: "Sad news. One of my fave characters of all time. 'I can speak Eeenglish. I learned it from a boooook.'

Image copyright Nigel Silverthorne
Image caption Andrew Sachs wrote and starred in the award-winning radio drama The Revenge

Others shared memories of working with Sachs, including Lloyd Silverthorne. He worked with the actor in the late 1970s recording the award-winning play The Revenge, which Sachs wrote.

Mr Silverstone, who worked in the BBC's radio drama department at the time, said he recorded the play in and around his house in Reading, and later edited the final version.

"He posed with our local children - including my own daughter - and was so kind to them and all of us," he recalled.

"During the shoot I remember we had to do a number of takes of a scene where he breaks into my kitchen and steals a biscuit. In fact, my wife had made a tinful of biscuits and Andrew managed to munch his way through the lot!

"But he was wonderful to work with, and is a great loss to the broadcast world, and an example to many."

Image caption Andrew Sachs with Glyn Dearman and Lloyd Silverthorne (right), the production team of The Revenge

Actor Samuel West, whose mother Prunella Scales starred alongside Andrew Sachs in Fawlty Towers, also paid tribute. He tweeted: "Farewell #AndrewSachs. Creator of one of our most beloved EU migrants. Such warmth and wit; impossible to think of him without smiling."

Fellow actor and friend Sir Tony Robinson recalled shared family moments in his tweet:

Image copyright @Tony_Robinson

And comedian Miranda Hart lauded the sitcom that had been an inspiration to her, tweeting: "#AndrewSachs made me cry with laughter in my favourite sitcom. That legacy won't die but today a little cry that he and his era have gone."


Image copyright Chloe Harries
Image caption Chloe Harries made Andrew Sachs laugh when she met him as a child

Chloe Harries met the actor when her father worked with him one Christmas about 30 years ago.

"He was starring as Widow Twankey in panto, and my dad took us backstage to meet him. I was about five or six," she recalled.

"I was shy, and he was covered in elaborate make-up. I plucked up the courage to ask him if I could come to his funeral, when he died.

"I remember he laughed a lot - my parents were embarrassed. I didn't realise it was something that one shouldn't ask!

"A few weeks later he sent me a very sweet postcard, letting me know that I could indeed come to his funeral, and that it was wonderful to meet me," she added.

Image caption Andrew Sachs and Frances de la Tour appeared in Simon Block's first sitcom

The writer and creator of ITV's drama Home Fires, Simon Block, emailed to say: "Andrew Sachs agreed to star alongside Frances de la Tour in my first ever outing as a writer in a not great sitcom for BBC1 back in the early 90s.

"He was exceedingly gracious and charming to a complete newcomer (as was Frances). A very gentle, very talented actor and writer and person. Everyone who met Andrew loved him.

"He was a substantial actor in TV, theatre, and radio, and his voice was so mellifluous and subtle that for years and years he was considered the voiceover king on British television."

Other people who met Andrew Sachs remembered him fondly, including Abigail Watts who tweeted:

Image copyright Abigail Watts

Compiled by Annie Flury, UGC Hub & Social News team

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