The Fall And Rise Of Reginald Perrin. Image shows from L to R: Reginald Perrin (Leonard Rossiter), Doc Morrissey (John Horsley). Copyright: BBC.

The Fall And Rise Of Reginald Perrin

BBC One sitcom about a man suffering a nervous breakdown. 22 episodes (3 series), 1976 - 1982. Stars Leonard Rossiter, Pauline Yates, John Barron, Sue Nicholls and others.

The Fall And Rise Of Reginald Perrin. Reginald Perrin (Leonard Rossiter). Copyright: BBC.

The Fall And Rise Of Reginald Perrin

A midlife crisis sitcom about a bored executive who fakes his own suicide and seeks to reinvent himself in a desperate search for purpose and contentment

1976 - 1982
22   (3 series)
Leonard Rossiter, Pauline Yates, John Barron, Sue Nicholls, John Horsley, Trevor Adams, Bruce Bould, Theresa Watson and others
David Nobbs
Gareth Gwenlan

Based on David Nobbs's comic novel The Death Of Reginald Perrin, this era-defining sitcom follows the successive breakdowns and recoveries of put-upon, bored office worker Reginald Perrin.

Perrin, a 46-year old senior sales executive working for Sunshine Desserts, has long grown bored of his humdrum, repetitive suburban life with wife Elizabeth, eccentric boss CJ, and ravishing secretary Joan. Regularly drifting off into fanciful daydreams as his only means of mental stimulation, Reggie finally snaps and fakes his own suicide, eventually returning as "Martin Wellbourne", his own (non-existent) best friend.

Under the new identity, Reggie embarks upon an affair with his own wife, and returns to work at Sunshine Desserts, but it is not long before he grows tired of 'Martin' and unmasks himself. However, CJ does not take kindly to the deception and fires him.

Increasingly frustrated with middle-class suburban life once more, Reggie mockingly establishes Grot, a business selling totally useless goods such as round dice. However, much to his distress, Grot becomes an overnight success with its products flying off the shelves as highly-valued novelties.

The Perrins become billionaires off the back of the company's success, but Reggie is fast spiraling toward another breakdown. Eventually, with the money from Grot, Reggie and Elizabeth open their home as a new-age community cum health retreat for other middle class couples hoping to become better, healthier, happier people. Can this finally find Reggie contentment?

Production Details

Production company
Laugh track
Live audience

Broadcast details

First broadcast
Wednesday 8th September 1976 on BBC One at 9:25pm
Last new broadcast
Monday 27th December 1982 on BBC One at 8:05pm
Last repeat
Tuesday 6th April 2021 at 8:30pm on BBC4

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