Stories of Distinction & Genius

117 Welcome to The Clearing: Jonathan Hansler - Actor, Survivor & John Cleese's Official Basil Fawlty!

July 04, 2022 Chris Grimes - Facilitator. Coach. Motivational Comedian
Stories of Distinction & Genius
117 Welcome to The Clearing: Jonathan Hansler - Actor, Survivor & John Cleese's Official Basil Fawlty!
Show Notes

Yes! Welcome to another episode of "The Good Listening To Podcast: The Story Behind Your Story Show!" with this lovely gentleman and Actor Jonathan Hansler 

Jonathan is an Award Winning English Actor, Writer & Comedian and Peter Cooke obsessive!

"I’ve truly ‘lived’ but then suffering creates greatness..."

Jonny and I go way back when, to when he walked into a bar in Cricklewood (“I was working as a Waitress…” erm, etc) dressed as a half-cut Centurion circa 1984!

Episode recorded as a FaceBook "Live".


As an actor, comedian, writer, Jonathan Hansler has led a life that has never been dull - nor without anxiety. Jonathan curated his own collection of Self-help books and not without good reason. His father was an active alcoholic, which invariably made him remote and unpredictable. Jonathan will always regret never having had the chance to say goodbye properly and achieve some kind of closure. 

Jonathan himself was abused at school. He was inspired by Peter Cook, who, like him, imagined that he could rely on alcohol to dull the daily pain and make an apparently ‘normal’ life look possible. Jonathan’s father died with alcoholism. Peter Cook died with alcoholism. Jonathan decided not to follow in their footsteps. 

He stopped drinking alcohol 8 and a half years ago and has stayed stopped ever since. A couple of months ago, Jonathan embraced Buddhism and now takes personal responsibility very seriously indeed. He remains highly anxious, occasionally very irritable and sometimes awfully moody. Now he tries to use his difficulties to his best advantage. 

He celebrates his curious sense of humour and his appreciation of absurdity wherever he can find it. One of Jonathan’s ancestors, a spy for Wellington, was the first person ever to receive a knighthood from the late Queen Victoria. This ancestor even had a pub named after him! 

In the second Elizabethan era, John Cleese gave Jonathan Hansler the right to recreate the original Basil Fawlty in his own image using the original scripts from Fawlty Towers. 

Clive Greenwood and Jonathan Hansler developed new lines for famous comedians in an imaginary afterlife scenario. Jonathan’s latest film is entitled ‘Give them wings’. You can see the trailer online, as well as Peter Cook and John Cleese‘s bizarre conversation on a park bench that set Jonathan on his unique career path. 

Anxious moments galore but never a dull moment. Good listening!

Reg Starkey - Editor
UK Health Triangle Magazine