Planet Chaplin, Iran's Mr Bean and making Manuel Neapolitanby Laura Marsh / November 16, 2011 / Leave a comment
* The popularity of Yes, Minister endures. Canada, Sweden, Portugal, Israel, India, the Netherlands and Turkey have made their own versions of the show, and an Ukrainian remake was commissioned in 2009.
* Fawlty Towers, broadcast in 60 countries and voted Britain’s best sitcom, flopped in Spain when it was first shown because of its portrayal of the slow-witted Spanish waiter Manuel. Its ratings soared when he was renamed Paolo, an Italian from Naples, in a re-dubbed version.
* Every new year’s eve, half of all Germans watch a British 1960s skit called Dinner for One. Despite its popularity in Germany, as well as Sweden and Denmark, it has not been shown in Britain for 30 years.
* Norman Wisdom was a cult figure in Albania. A Stitch in Time was one of the few western films shown during the dictatorship of Enver Hoxha, who saw the struggles of Mr Pitkin (Wisdom) with his boss as a communist parable of class war.
* In 1981, Soviet astronomer Lyudmila Karachkina named a planet 3623 Chaplin after the comic. She also named planets after Dostoyevsky and Anna Akhmatova.
* An Iranian court sentenced two men to flogging in 2001 when they disrupted a performance of Hami Reza Mahisefat’s show Iran’s Mr Bean. When Royal Navy sailor Arthur Batchelor was taken hostage in Iranian waters, his captors called him Mr Bean during interrogations.
* The Portuguese remake of Only Fools and Horses was remarkably faithful to the original. The show translated jokes and plots directly from the British episodes, though Del Boy’s yellow Reliant Robin was absent.