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

The Fall And Rise Of Reginald Perrin

  • TV sitcom
  • BBC One
  • 1976 - 1982
  • 21 episodes (3 series)

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. Stars Leonard Rossiter, Pauline Yates, John Barron, Sue Nicholls, John Horsley and more.

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

Key details

1976 - 1982
21 (3 series), plus 1 short insert
Leonard Rossiter, Pauline Yates, John Barron, Sue Nicholls, John Horsley, Trevor Adams, Bruce Bould, Theresa Watson and more
David Nobbs
Gareth Gwenlan
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?

Additional details

Camera set-up

Website links

Broadcast details

First broadcast
Wednesday 8th September 1976 at 9:25pm on BBC One
Most recent repeats
  • Friday 28th October 2022 at 1:50am on BBC4 - Series 1, Episode 1
  • Monday 24th October 2022 at 8:00pm on BBC4 - Series 1, Episode 1
  • Tuesday 6th April 2021 at 8:30pm on BBC4 - Series 1, Episode 7

Recording details

  • Acton and Ealing - Locations
  • BBC Television Centre - Studios
  • West Bay (Dorset) - Opening title sequence

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