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Time to break out the rat-infested crackers and toss a Waldorf salad, for Prunella Scales – Sybil Fawlty herself – celebrates her 80th birthday today.

Still very much a working actress with a 60-year career, Prunella’s most recent appearance was in the 2011 movie adaptation of Francesca Simon’s Horrid Henry books, in which she plays Great Aunt Greta.

Here’s an interview with John Cleese, in which he describes how Prunella’s arrival changed the character of Sybil Fawlty – still her most famous role, even for an actress who has played the Queen, as she did in Alan Bennett’s 1991 play A Question of Attribution.

Let’s just hope that someone somewhere is baking a cake in the shape of Sybil’s hair. Glass of Cinzano, anyone?

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By Fraser McAlpine