Fawlty Towers star John Cleese says town near Milton Keynes is costing him Twitter followers

John Cleese believes this town is affecting his American following on social media.

Friday, 5th March 2021, 2:53 pm
Updated Friday, 5th March 2021, 2:54 pm
John Cleese believes mentioning Leighton Buzzard has lost him support in North America

Long time film and television actor, Cleese, said mentioning Leighton Buzzard caused him to lose North American Twitter followers.

The Monty Python star still has quite the following on the social media site, boasting 5.7 million followers.

He tweeted: “I am told by someone who understands social media that, as 70% of my Twits are in North America, some get miffed when I tweet about cricket or the UK Press or Leighton Buzzard, and they then punish me by unfollowing me! I’d like to wish farewell to these dullard plebs ‘Bye !”

Cleese offered no context as to why he namechecked Leighton Buzzard, but it led to an avalanche of replies.

@Amy Gravino said: “Leighton Buzzard sounds like the owner of a rival hotel in Fawlty Towers who hates Basil only because they are much too similar but neither of them can see it...”

@ChrisKnightfilm said: “I do not understand the U.K. press (and they don’t understand you!) or cricket or whatever a Leighton Buzzard is (please tell me I’m not swearing when I say that) but I shall defend your right to tweet about them, sir!”

@ChrisDavidge22 said: “So what the hell have our American cousins, got against Leighton Buzzard? Or, are they just being parochial again?”

@tennisdisorder said: “Leighton Buzzard! I havent heard that name in years! Nostalgic...”

@JoeySta71789789 said: “Any place name containing Buzzard is just marvellous. Please carry on.”

@toffeeman1971 said: “For those that don’t know. Leighton Buzzard was a wicket keeper at cricket (like a catcher in baseball) but was also known for peddling Hungarian phrase books that was not in the correct English translation and was hanged under the obscenities act 1956.”

The Leighton Buzzard Observer approached Leighton Buzzard and District Archaeological and Historical Society about the origin of the town’s name.

A spokesperson said that place names often derive from landed gentry that owned the manor. In Leighton Buzzard’s case: “Leighton has been spelt several ways but probably derives from the Saxon Leah, meaning field or meadow or Leacton a kitchen garden. There are lots of variations in the spelling of Leighton all over the country.

“The Buzzard bit is more certain. In the 13th century there were two Leightons in the diocese of Lincoln, one in Huntingdonshire and our own. The church owned the centre of Leighton and the diocese needed to distinguish between the two places. The name Busard first appears in a deed dated 1242 when a Frenchman man called Theobald de Bosat or Busar was a Canon of Lincoln Cathedral who for some time also lived in our Leighton. The scribes at Lincoln took to called the town Leighton Busar to distinguish it from Leighton Bromswold in Huntingdonshire. By 1526 Busar had been corrupted to Buzzard. Evidently the locals could not cope with French pronunciation.”