Fawlty Towers star Prunella Scales quits Great Canal Journeys amid Alzheimer’s battle

The decision that must have broken the couple's hearts

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Prunella Scales, 87, and husband, Timothy West, 85, have made the decision to quit the Channel 4 show Great Canal Journeys because the actress is said to be too frail to continue filming.

Pru and Tim enjoying one of their many canal adventures (Credit: Channel 4)

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Pru, who is best known for her character Sybil Fawlty in comedy Fawlty Towers, made public she was suffering from Alzheimer’s in 2014.

In the same year the couple started filming the feel-good show which was aired on lesser known More 4 but it quickly captured viewers’ hearts and was moved to Channel 4

Of his wife, Tim previously said on their show, Great Canal Journeys: “She can’t remember things very well but you don’t have to remember things on the canal.

You can just enjoy things as they happen – so it’s perfect for her.

“You can just enjoy things as they happen – so it’s perfect for her.”

Taking over from the couple will be Former Conservative MP Gyles Brandreth, 71, and Casualty actress Sheila Hancock, 86. The pair were filmed together for Channel 4’s Celebrity Gogglebox last year.

A source told The Sun: “It’s not a decision Pru and Tim have taken lightly but they’re delighted it’s Gyles and Sheila.”

Sheila and Gyles are taking over the helm (Credit: Channel 4)

Pru filmed her last episode in October 2019 but Tim hasn’t finished quite yet. He’ll appear in the first episode with Gyles and Sheila, where we’ll see him showing the pair the ropes.

In the last series we saw a declining Pru and the pain on Tim’s face as he watched his beloved wife.

Maybe he knew then they wouldn’t return together as he said of holidaymakers and the waterways, “They can carry on without us. But can we carry on without them.”

A fan of the show took to Twitter to share their support.

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She wrote: “So very said that Tim and Pru will not make any more Great Canal Journeys but not entirely unexpected given her condition.

“I do hope they can still continue to enjoy their beloved canals privately for as long as possible though. Thank you for the wonderful programmes.”

In a statement, Prunella and Timothy told The Sun: “Good luck Gyles and Sheila. Enjoy the countryside and the pubs…”

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