Have you ever wondered what it would be like to be John Cleese for the day? 

Well, Basil Fawlty impersonator and John Cleese look alike, Edmond Wells does just that. 

Having performed up and down the countrysince 1994, Edmond has performed across Brighton and Hove including twice at The Grand Hotel.

As the self-professed "best John Cleese lookalike", Edmond is no stranger to being recognised in the street, or even down at the pub. 

Edmond laughed: “Even if I go to a town that I’ve never been to before, if I go into a pub someone will say ‘hey look Basil’s just walked in’. Even if I’m just wearing a t-shirt and jeans!”

With an interesting start to his career as a lookalike, Edmond explained that if it wasn’t for a very strong curry, he wouldn’t be where he is today. 

He said: “I had this curry which gave me serious indigestion. So I woke up at 3am, made a cup of tea and stuck the tele on. 

“Suddenly this guy came on from a lookalike agency, I’d never heard of such a thing before, he said he was having a convention in London and that anyone who looked like a celebrity should call him.

“I managed to jot the number down because I thought it would be a bit of a laugh so I called him the next day.

“The agent went absolutely hilly-billy and said he had an excellent Manuel.”

Having previously had a career as an interior designer, Edmond was unfamiliar with the arts and entertainment industry. 

The Argus:

Patsy, Del Boy, Manuel and Basil at the One Show leaving party (Image: Edmond Wells). 

His first booking was with a man playing the role of Manuel who had been on the lookalikes circuit for a while and had his own routine.

Whilst Edmond assumed the role would be taking photos and chatting to people, he was wrong and instead the clients expected him to perform as Basil Fawlty.

Light-hearted Edmond said: “Let’s just say, it couldn’t have gone any worse if I’d tried! So I thought, it can only get better from there.” 

From his nightmare first gig he has gone on to be voted in the Best of British Comedy Awards and has been professionally trained by LAMDA. 

Having brushed up on his timing and comedy prowess, clients have said they’ve “never laughed so much” in their lives at one of his shows. 

From classic Basil Fawlty gags of smashing plates and hilarious one-liners to fire alarm tricks and general silliness - the lovely Edmond has an undeniable humour that is bound to make even the grumpiest of us laugh. 

The Argus:

Basil Fawlty (Edmond Wells) and Manuel at the Mena Awards, 2004 (Image: Edmond Wells). 

Used to jet-setting across the globe Edmond has taken his Fawlty Towers act to some of the most surprising locations, including hosting the Mena Awards in Dubai and performing at the Crowne Plaza in Muscat, Oman. 

Unable to take many props with him into Oman and with a keen idea of the hotel’s layout Edmond, as Basil, knew exactly the gags he would pull on his 300 person audience. 

He said: “I got in and apologised to everyone, saying my wife Sybil had made a terrible mistake and that we were in the wrong room.”

Making everyone grab their drinks, he led them on a wild goose chase only to end up in the same room again. 

Edmond laughed: “They were all wrong-footed and had no idea what was going to happen next, it was great fun.” 

One of his favourite and most-loved jokes is to set a fake fire alarm off whilst getting Manuel to chase all of the guests with a CO2 fire extinguisher.

However, when trying to play this trick in a Bournemouth hotel, he nearly came unstuck as a genuine fire was ablaze in the adjoining room. 

He said: “I thought I’d just check it out before I started and I couldn’t believe my eyes.

“There was a chap up a 20-foot ladder with a foam fire-extinguisher in his hand ready to put out a spotlight in the ceiling that had caught fire."

Obviously worried about the incorrect use of the extinguisher, Edmond ran and grabbed Manuel’s CO2 hydrant and helped put the fire out.

Luckily, the show was able to go ahead as if nothing had happened and the guests were “none the wiser”. 

The Argus:

Basil Fawlty (Edmond Wells) and Mauel.

Much like the lovable, hilarious and chaotic Basil Fawlty, Edmond is the real deal.

He said:

“I absolutely love performing as Basil Fawlty it’s brilliant.”

He has performed at some of the most high-end locations including the Mayfair in London and The Gleneagles where he was filmed for the ITV production of “Will the Real Basil Fawlty Stand Up!”.

Edmond is not shy to a bit of the spotlight and well-versed in providing an extravagant comedic affair - If you want to enjoy some of his side-splitting Basil Fawlty comedy you can book him for your own events