Fawlty Towers stars John Cleese and Connie Booth salute Andrew Sachs

Andrew Sachs was a quiet, unassuming man – until he put on that moustache. And in Manuel, he created one of TV’s greatest comic characters. His co-stars remember a witty and wonderfully inventive actor

The first time I set eyes on Andy Sachs was at the Lyric Theatre, London, in the autumn of 1973. Andy was appearing with Alec Guinness in Alan Bennett’s Habeas Corpus, an exquisitely crafted sex-farce about a respectable family in Brighton in the 1960s. Andy was playing a piano tuner, but the magnificent Margaret Courtenay mistook him for the man who was coming to measure her for a custom-made bra. When Andy started on the standard pianist’s hand-and-finger stretching routine, she began to register anticipation of nameless carnal delights, producing one of the funniest farcical moments I have ever seen. Weak with laughter, I managed to open my programme and underline his name.

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