Shelley (TV series)

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Shelley (DVD).
Created by Peter Tilbury
Directed by Anthony Parker
Starring Samantha Beckinsale
Hywel Bennett
Warren Clarke
Garfield Morgan
Belinda Sinclair
Josephine Tewson
No. of series 10
No. of episodes 71
Producer(s) Anthony Parker
Running time 30 minutes per episode
(including adverts)
Production company(s) Thames Television
Distributor Fremantle Media
Original network ITV
Picture format 4:3
Original release First run:
12 July 1979 (1979-07-12) – 12 January 1984 (1984-01-12)
Second run:
11 October 1988 (1988-10-11) – 1 September 1992 (1992-09-01)

Shelley is a British sitcom made by Thames Television and originally broadcast on ITV from 12 July 1979 to 12 January 1984 and from 11 October 1988 to 1 September 1992. Starred Hywel Bennett as James Shelley, originally 28 years old and a sardonic, perpetually unemployed anti-establishment 'freelance layabout' with a doctoral degree. In the original run, Belinda Sinclair played Shelley's girlfriend Fran, and Josephine Tewson appeared regularly as his Landlady, Edna Hawkins. The series was created by Peter Tilbury who also wrote the first three series. The scripts for subsequent episodes were by Andy Hamilton and Guy Jenkin (both of whom would later go on to write the hugely successful Drop the Dead Donkey for Channel 4), Colin Bostock-Smith, David Frith, Bernard McKenna and Barry Pilton. All 71 episodes were produced and directed by Anthony Parker.

Series seven was titled on screen The Return of Shelley, and was broadcast in 1988. This time round, Shelley is (still) separated from Fran, and lives on his own, doing his best to avoid obtaining gainful employment. The series begins with Shelley returning to the UK from Kuwait after teaching English for several years, only to find that his calls to his old friends are now screened by answer phones and that yuppieness has taken root in his old neighbourhood. The final three series returned to the on-screen title of Shelley.

For the final two series, we see Shelley sharing a house with Ted Bishop (David Ryall). 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.


The first series was rewritten as a novel, Shelley, by Colin Bostock-Smith and Peter Tilbury. New English Library, paperback, 1 April 1980. ISBN. 0-450-04931-0.[1][2]

DVD releases[edit]

The first six series have been released by Network, on Region 2 DVD in 2007, 2009, 2011 and 2012, The seventh series is scheduled to follow at some point.

DVD Release date
The Complete Series 1
19 March 2007
The Complete Series 2 (see note)
16 July 2007
The Complete Series 3
5 November 2007
The Complete Series 4
22 June 2009
The Complete Series 5
13 June 2011
The Complete Series 6
30 April 2012
The Complete Series 7
The Complete Series 8
The Complete Series 9
The Complete Series 10
The Complete Series 1 to 10 Box Set

Note: The series 2 DVD only contains six episodes from the second series as broadcast (three episodes were held over from series 1 and appear on the DVD release of that series).


External links[edit]