James Shelley, an educated, sardonic, permanently unemployed "professional freelance layabout," has many battles with authority, the tax-man, his landlady and his girlfriend Fran.

Creator:

Peter Tilbury
Reviews
Popularity
3,167 ( 22)

Episodes

Seasons


Years



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

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

The Return of Shelley (TV Series 1988)
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

After nearly five years away teaching in the Middle-East, Shelley flies back into the UK. He's shocked to find a new world of high rent, yuppies and wine bars - but one thing that hasn't changed is his ready-wit and work-shy behaviour.

Stars: Hywel Bennett, Andrew Castell, Caroline Langrishe
Never the Twain (1981–1991)
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

Comedy about two rival antique dealers.

Stars: Donald Sinden, Windsor Davies, Derek Deadman
Bless This House (1971–1976)
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 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, Robin Stewart
Father, Dear Father (1968–1973)
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

The comedy of the life of a single father and his two daughters.

Stars: Patrick Cargill, Natasha Pyne, Ann Holloway
Get Some In! (1975–1978)
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

1955 called up into R.A.F. a group of young men find it hard to cope,especially with a corporal who is unhappy and takes it out on them.

Stars: Tony Selby, Gerard Ryder, David Janson
Minder (1979–1994)
Comedy | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

Arthur Daley, a small-time conman, hires former boxer Terry McCann to be his 'minder', so Terry can protect him (Arthur) from other, small-time, crooks. While Terry is trying his hardest to... See full summary »

Stars: George Cole, Glynn Edwards, Dennis Waterman
It Ain't Half Hot Mum (1974–1981)
Comedy | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

The comic adventures of a group of misfits who form an extremely bad concert party touring the hot and steamy jungles of Burma entertaining the troops during World War II.

Stars: Windsor Davies, Melvyn Hayes, Donald Hewlett
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

A top secret chemical formula has been stolen by STENCH (the Society for the Total Extinction of Non-Conforming Humans), and so Agent Simpkins and his three trainees are hot on the trail, ... See full summary »

Director: Gerald Thomas
Stars: Kenneth Williams, Barbara Windsor, Bernard Cribbins
Adventure | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Sir Sidney Ruff-Diamond looks after the British outpost near the Khyber Pass. Protected by the kilted Third Foot and Mouth regiment, you would think they were safe. But the Khazi of Kalabar... See full summary »

Director: Gerald Thomas
Stars: Sidney James, Kenneth Williams, Charles Hawtrey
The Liver Birds (1969–1996)
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

The lives and loves of Beryl Hennessey and Sandra Hutchinson, two young, single women sharing a flat in Liverpool.

Stars: Nerys Hughes, Polly James, Mollie Sugden
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

The Wedded Bliss computer dating agency aims to bring together the lonely hearts of Much-Snoggin-in-the-Green. Its owner, Sidney Bliss, has enough complications in his own love life, but ... See full summary »

Director: Gerald Thomas
Stars: Sidney James, Kenneth Williams, Charles Hawtrey
Comedy | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

Stodge City is in the grip of the Rumpo Kid and his gang. Mistaken identity again takes a hand as a "sanitary engineer" (plumber) by the name of Marshal P. Knutt is mistaken for a law marshal! Being the conscientious sort, Marshal tries to help the town get rid of Rumpo, and a showdown is inevitable. Marshal has two aids - revenge-seeking Annie Oakley and his sanitary expertise...

Director: Gerald Thomas
Stars: Sidney James, Kenneth Williams, Jim Dale
Edit

Cast

Series cast summary:
Hywel Bennett ...  James Shelley 39 episodes, 1979-1984
Belinda Sinclair Belinda Sinclair ...  Fran 29 episodes, 1979-1984
Josephine Tewson ...  Mrs. Hawkins 23 episodes, 1979-1982
Edit

Storyline

James Shelley, an educated, sardonic, permanently unemployed "professional freelance layabout," has many battles with authority, the tax-man, his landlady and his girlfriend Fran.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy

Edit

Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

12 July 1979 (UK) See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Thames Television See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(39 episodes)

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The first series broadcast in Summer,1979 comprised of just four epiodes although seven were made. The final three episodes were not shown due to an itv technician's strike and instead where shown at the beginning of series two in 1980. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Comedy Connections: Drop the Dead Donkey (2006) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Timeless classic
8 August 2019 | by peterrichboySee all my reviews

I just by chance stumbled across an old episode of Shelly on forces TV. And watched it just to see if it was as good as I remember it. I was 15 when Shelly first aired and the razor sharp script and Hywell Bennett's dead pan sarcastic delivery for me makes it one of the most underrated shows of all time.. This show was ahead of it's time it was almost too good to be classed as a sit com Peter Tilburys writing is a masterclass in comedic writing whilst Bennett delivers the gags and one liners with immaculate comic timing. I wonder if Ricky Gervais ever watched Shelly as his shows remind me of Shelley's sarcastic wit. Was the show as good as I remember it? Yes it was and more.


4 of 4 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 5 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Free Movies and TV Shows You Can Watch Now

On IMDb TV, you can catch Hollywood hits and popular TV series at no cost. Select any poster below to play the movie, totally free!

Browse free movies and TV series

Stream Popular Action and Adventure Titles With Prime Video

Explore popular action and adventure titles available to stream with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed