Shelley (1979–1983)

TV Series   |    |  Comedy

Episode Guide
Shelley (1979) Poster

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


Get More From IMDb

For an enhanced browsing experience, get the IMDb app on your smartphone or tablet.

Get the IMDb app

Cast & Crew

Top Series Cast


Peter Tilbury

Reviews & Commentary

Add a Review

User Reviews

31 July 2013 | Prismark10
| Lay about with Shelley
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. Some years later Shelly returned in new episodes, more wiser, more cynical but still funny as ever.

A lasting tribute to the talents of Hywel Bennett.


Release Date:

12 July 1979



Country of Origin


Contribute to this page

IMDb Picks: What to Watch on Netflix Now

Need some help finding the best things to watch on Netflix? Let our editors help you find what's trending and what's worth your time.

See the full list

"Grey's Anatomy" Docs Pick Their Must-See Episodes

We asked Doctors Jo Wilson, April Kepner, and Andrew DeLuca to tell us the episodes of the show that they think are the most essential to understanding their characters.

Watch the video

Around The Web


Provided by Taboola

More To Explore

Search on