Hugely popular in it’s day and another one pushed to the back of the queue when they’re looking at programs to repeat on TV.
The show was made by Thames Television and first hit our screens in 1979. It ran for ten series with a break in between and clocked up an impressive seventy one episodes.
For it’s second run in 1988, it was entitled The Return of Shelley and like Fools and Horses it reflected the time period with the changes in technology, yuppies etc. From Series eight the title reverted back to Shelley.
James Shelley is a sardonic, 28-year-old, anti-establishment postgraduate and career income tax dodger. He spends his days pondering the philosophical implications of life whilst doing his best to avoid the authorities that think he should work for a living. He lives in a little North London bedsit with his girlfriend Fran but his days of continued slothfulness may be coming to an end…
In Series Seven, The Return Of Shelley, he returns from Saudi Arabia where he has been teaching English for a few years.
Separated from his girlfriend and living the single life he finds that things in the old neighbourhood have moved on calls to his old friends are now screened by answer phones and that yuppieness has taken root.
For the final two series Shelley shares a house with Ted Bishop.
Ted’s house is the only one left in his street, the other residences having been demolished to make way for a leisure centre. Shelley moves in as lodger to help Ted with his fight against the developers who want to demolish the house Ted has lived in his whole life.
Peter Tilbury (Series 1-3)
Andy Hamilton and Guy Jenkin
Produced and Directed By: Anthony Parker
Original Transmission Dates:
12th July 1979 – 12th January 1984 (Series 1 – 6)
11th October 1988 – 1st September 1992 (Series 7 – 10)
Where To Watch
Sadly this is a difficult one. Despite the series popularity in the day it doesn’t appear on any streaming platform. A DVD box set was released by Network On Air (no longer trading). You may still be able to buy DVD sets from Amazon or Ebay.