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... 

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
Just Good Friends (1983–1986)
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 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
Bless This House (1971–1976)
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Bless This House centres on life in Birch Avenue, Putney, where travelling stationery salesman Sid Abbott (Sidney James) and his wife Jean (Diana Coupland) live with their teenagers: Mike (... See full summary »

Stars: Sidney James, Diana Coupland, Sally Geeson
Thérèse Raquin (TV Mini-Series 1980)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
Stars: Kate Nelligan, Mona Washbourne, Brian Cox
The Naked Civil Servant (TV Movie 1975)
Biography | Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

The life and times of Quentin Crisp, an outrageous and flamboyant homosexual, coming of age and growing into old age in conservative England.

Director: Jack Gold
Stars: John Hurt, Liz Gebhardt, Patricia Hodge
Marley's Ghosts (TV Series 2015)
Comedy | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 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
Till Death Us Do Part (1965–1975)
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A working-class Cockney bigot with a biased and expirienced opinion of everything shares them bluntly and almost carelessly.

Stars: Warren Mitchell, Anthony Booth, Una Stubbs
Citizen Smith (1977–1980)
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 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
Rumpole of the Bailey (1978–1992)
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  

The cases of a portly and eccentric criminal law barrister.

Stars: Leo McKern, Jonathan Coy, Julian Curry
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)

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Connections

Featured in 40 Years of Laughter: The Sitcoms (1995) 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:
?