Shelley. James Shelley (Hywel Bennett). Copyright: Thames Television.


ITV sitcom about a workshy man. 71 episodes (10 series), 1979 - 1992. Stars Hywel Bennett, Belinda Sinclair and Josephine Tewson.

Shelley. Image shows from L to R: James Shelley (Hywel Bennett), Frances Smith/Shelley (Belinda Sinclair). Copyright: Thames Television.


Highly intelligent but inherently lazy, Shelley is one of life's constant philosophers, never quite achieving a stable life

1979 - 1992
71   (10 series)
Peter Tilbury
Hywel Bennett, Belinda Sinclair and Josephine Tewson
Peter Tilbury

James Shelley is highly educated and has a PhD in geography; he's bright, will philosophise for hours, and can turn his mind to almost anything. He is also unemployed and has no intention of working.

Living with his girlfriend Fran in a bedsit at the home of Mrs. Hawkins (known as Mrs. H), the series follows his misadventures as he ducks, dodges and tries as hard as possible not to be caught up in Thatcher's Britain - or at very least, just to continue to avoid working.

Production Details

Production company
Also known as
  • The Return Of Shelley (Series 7 - 9)
Laugh track
Live audience

Broadcast details

First broadcast
Thursday 12th July 1979 on ITV at 9:30pm
Last new broadcast
Tuesday 1st September 1992 on ITV at 8:30pm
Last repeat
Saturday 10th August 2019 at 2:00am on Forces TV

Website links