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Fall And Rise Of Reginald Perrin,The (BBC-1 1976-1979, Leonard Rossiter)

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In classic sitcom The Fall and Rise of Reginald Perrin middle aged suburbanite Reginald Iolanthe Perrin is in the midst of a massive mid-life crisis. Desperate to escape the hum drum of his life as executive at Sunshine Desserts, he decides to fake his own death. Leaving a pile of his clothes on the beach and heading off for pastures new.

The whole first season builds up to this moment as Reggie gets ever more desperate. Top notch scripts and a superb world weary performance from Leonard Rossiter and his supporting cast.

By the second season Reggie has tired of life on the road and decides to return back to his old life – only this time he is playing by his own rules. He sets up a chain of tat filled department stores called Grot which become super successful and make him a fortune.

For the third and final season he decides to ruin Grot and instead starts his own suburban based commune.

One of the all time great sitcoms, it was no real surprise when, in 1996, the BBC decided to revive the format with The Legacy of Reginald Perrin. Leonard Rossiter had sadly died in 1984 and wisely there was no recasting. The series opened with Reggie’s funeral and focused on his old friends and colleagues having to fulfil his bequest to do something absurd in order to inherit one million pounds each.

Fall and Rise of Reginald Perrin

production details
UK / BBC One / 21×30 minute episodes / Broadcast 1976-79

Writer: David Nobbs / Music: Ronnie Hazlehurst / Producers: John Howard Davies, Gareth Gwenlan

cast
LEONARD ROSSITER as Reggie
PAULINE YATES as Elizabeth Perrin
JOHN BARRON as CJ
SUE NICHOLLS as Joan Greengoss
GEOFFREY PALMER as Jimmy
JOHN HORSLEY as Doc Morrissey
TREVOR ADDAMS as Tony Webster
BRUCE BOULD as David Harris-Jones
SALLY JANE SPENCER as Linda
TIM PREECE as Tom (serials 1-2)
LESLIE SCHOFIELD as Tom (serials 3)
THERESA WATSON as Prue Harris-Jones
DAVID WARWICK as Mark