"as if she were Prunella Scales in Fawlty Towers"

Although only two series were ever written, Fawlty Towers was an immensely popular British comedy. The programme was set in a dreary seaside hotel run by the erratic and evil-tempered proprietor, Basil Fawlty (played by writer John Cleese), who has a peculiar knack for attracting disaster.

Prunella Scales is the English actress who played Sybil, Basil's much more competent wife. One of Sybil's defining chracteristics was her determination to maintain the facade of smooth and professional service at the hotel, and her sycophantic treatment of the guests.