TV Cream

TV: S is for...

Shelley

ULTIMATE ABOUT-NOTHING British sitcom bedecked with fantastic whistle-along theme (courtesy of RON “DR WHO” GRAINER) and on-screen titles which looked like someone was writing them on the screen as you watched. An appropriately low-key overture to what followed: louche suburban sarcastic degree-wielding dole-wallowing Thatcher-baiting life-hating put-upon-pedant James Shelley, aka HYWEL “PERCY” BENNETT, sitting around and mouthing off. Early years found our hero alternately running from and running amok with girlfriend Fran (BELINDA SINCLAIR) and dodging the machinations of landlady Mrs Hawkins (JOSEPHINE TEWSON). Had a baby, hotfooted it to America for a bit, then came back to lodge with, sequentially, a pair of Yuppie caricatures and DAVID RYALL. Always worth watching, for the casual swearing alone. Ultimately sank along with Thames TV itself, which seemed somehow fitting.

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