Home > Entertainment > Basil Fawlty delivers a baby!

Basil Fawlty delivers a baby!

Basil Fawlty aka Garth Brandon-Podd (right) and colleague Martin Cupido with the new born baby "Indio". This is Garth's 14th delivery. Picture by Brenton Geach of The Cape Argus

First published in Bolander Lifestyle & Property, Pg 5, September 8, 2010

Somerset West resident Garth Brandon-Podd, was unavoidably delayed last Thursday night, and arrived late at The Playhouse Theatre for the second rehearsal of his role as Basil Fawlty in the hilarious BBC TV comedy series, Fawlty Towers.

But the delay was unavoidable. Mr Brandon-Podd (aka Basil Fawlty), a Rescue 911 paramedic, was tending to a pregnant mother who was being rushed to hospital by ambulance. “The mother was already in labour, and on the way to the hospital, the baby decided to arrive,” said Mr Brandon-Podd, “so I had to deliver it right there and then.”

According to Mr Brandon-Podd, the birth was completely normal with no complications. But this is not the first time that he has delivered a baby. “This is the fourteenth baby that I have delivered over the years,” said Mr Brandon-Podd, and listening to him recount the experience, it is evident that this is something that he easily takes in his stride.

Despite the stress of having to successfully bring a young life into the world in a moving ambulance, Mr Brandon-Podd was relaxed and unperturbed when he eventually arrived at the rehearsal venue. “I was just doing my job,” he said, with a smile.

Mr Brandon-Podd, who bears a startling resemblance to Basil Fawlty, the charcter played by John Cleese in the TV series, auditioned for the part on Sunday August 29 at The Playhouse Theatre in Somerset West.

“I’ve never auditioned for anything in my life,” said Mr Brandon–Podd, “so I had no expectation that I would get the part. I really only went along for the fun of it, because a friend of mine who is involved in the theatre told me about the audition.”

But Mr Brandon-Podd is a natural according to Hottentots Holland Dramatic Society (HHDS) chairman Lindsay Small, who also attended the audition. “When Garth walked in the front door of theatre, I thought I was looking at Basil Fawlty,” said Mr Small. “He was even wearing the kind of suit that Basil Fawlty wears in the series.”

“Once he got on stage and started to read the part, I felt as if I was actually watching an episode,” he said. “The mannerisms, the tone of voice, the demeanour, it was quite remarkable.”

The HHDS is producing two episodes of the much loved BBC TV comedy series, “Communication Problems” and “The Hotel Inspectors”, according to Mr Small. “Rehearsals commenced last week, and the show opens on Tuesday, November 30 for a two week season,” explained Mr Small.

Bolander asked Mr Brandon-Podd whether he felt that the unpredictability of his job as a paramedic posed potential problems for the show. “The director has arranged rehearsals for 8pm during the week. My shift normally ends at 7pm, so that’s more than enough time for me to get back to Somerset West, unless of course another baby decides to get born at the last minute,” he said with a smile. “I will be taking leave during the run of the show, so there will be no possibility of me missing or being late for a performance.”

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