Long-running British sitcom about James Shelley - an educated, sardonic, permanently unemployed 'professional freelance layabout'. Following his battles with authority, the tax-man, his landlady and his girlfriend Fran.

Creator:

Reviews

Episodes

Seasons


Years



6   5   4   3   2   1  
1984   1983   1982   1981   1980   1979  
2 nominations. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Thérèse Raquin (TV Mini-Series 1980)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
Stars: Kate Nelligan, Mona Washbourne, Brian Cox
Just Good Friends (1983–1986)
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

The series followed the wavering relationship between two ex-lovers, Penny Warrender, a secretary for an advertising firm, and Vincent Pinner, an ex ice cream salesman turned turf ... See full summary »

Stars: Paul Nicholas, Jan Francis, Sylvia Kay
Romeo & Juliet (TV Movie 1978)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Two teenagers fall in love, but their feuding families and fate itself cause the relationship to end in tragedy.

Director: Alvin Rakoff
Stars: Patrick Ryecart, Rebecca Saire, Celia Johnson
Busted (TV Movie 1983)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
Director: Jon Amiel
Stars: Alan Rickman, Michael Feast, Lorna Heilbron
The Barchester Chronicles (TV Mini-Series 1982)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

When a crusade against the Church of England's practice of self-enrichment misfires, scandal taints the cozy community of Barchester when their local church becomes the object of a scathing, investigative report.

Stars: Donald Pleasence, Janet Maw, Nigel Hawthorne
Brush Strokes (1986–1991)
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Jacko is a house painter who "appreciates" women, he sees the best in each one of them and they in turn, like him. Will he find true love ? Will he settle down as he gets older ?

Stars: Karl Howman, Mike Walling, Jackie Lye
Summer Season (TV Series 1985)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  
Stars: Tim Wylton, Marion Bailey, Charles Dale
Girls on Top (1985–1986)
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

Four women who are nothing alike end up living together in a flat in England.

Stars: Dawn French, Jennifer Saunders, Ruby Wax
Solo (1981–1982)
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
Stars: Felicity Kendal, Elspet Gray, Stephen Moore
Citizen Smith (1977–1980)
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Wolfie Smith is an unemployed dreamer from Tooting London, a self proclaimed Urban Guerilla who aspires to be like his hero Che Guevara. Leading a small group called the Tooting Popular ... See full summary »

Stars: Robert Lindsay, Mike Grady, Hilda Braid
Marley's Ghosts (TV Series 2015)
Comedy | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

Marley has a rare gift, she can talk to the dead. However, this gift is a mixed blessing as the ghosts she can currently communicate with sadly include her husband Adam, her lover Michael and the local vicar.

Stars: Sarah Alexander, Jo Joyner, Nicholas Burns
The Return of Shelley (TV Series 1988)
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
Stars: Hywel Bennett, Andrew Castell, Caroline Langrishe
Edit

Cast

Series cast summary:
...
 James Shelley (39 episodes, 1979-1984)
Belinda Sinclair ...
 Fran (29 episodes, 1979-1984)
...
 Mrs. Hawkins (23 episodes, 1979-1982)
Edit

Storyline

Long-running British sitcom about James Shelley - an educated, sardonic, permanently unemployed 'professional freelance layabout'. Following his battles with authority, the tax-man, his landlady and his girlfriend Fran.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy

Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

12 July 1979 (UK)  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(39 episodes)

Color:

See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Connections

Followed by The Return of Shelley (1988) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Lay about with Shelley
31 July 2013 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Despite their protestations ITV are not known for their sit-coms. It is usually a mirth fee zone but every now and then a gem is discovered and Shelly is a bona fide, premium grade comedy classic.

Hywel Bennett plays the over educated professional layabout Shelley whose mission in life is to avoid work and muse about life. It was anti establishment and anti Tory which gave it a political edge.

It had sharp writing and funny without resorting to knockabout comedy. In Hywel Bennett they found the perfect actor. Bennett was someone who was a rising star in the late 1960s but problems in his personal life meant he hit skid row in the early 70s and was out of the limelight until the late 1970s.

Shelley established him back to the forefront, he might had looked older and less baby faced than before but still attractive enough to make Shelley appealing enough to women and an everyman philosopher without turning to bombast.

Later series had to deal with issues when his screen wife left the show and had him musing to a tape recorder to his daughter now relocated to Canada. Later the Shelly returned, more wiser, more cynical but still funny as ever.


6 of 6 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?