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Reginald Iolanthe Perrin (Leonard Rossiter) is a bored, middle-aged executive working for Sunshine Desserts.

One day, while talking to his wife Elizabeth (Pauline Yates), he suddenly has a vision of his mother-in-law as a hippopotamus. That's the beginning of a rapid decline towards a breakdown, marked by increasingly odd behaviour at home and at work.

Eventually, Reggie fakes his own suicide and sets off to start a new life. He returns, disguised as his non-existent best friend Martin Wellbourne, just in time to attend his own memorial service.

He subsequently begins a relationship with his own wife and returns to work at Sunshine Desserts, before eventually being 'unmasked'.

In the second series, Reggie decides to set up in business. He opens a shop called 'Grot' which specialises in selling absolutely useless goods. He ends up as a successful millionaire businessman with a chain of 'Grot' shops.

In the third series, Reggie sets up a 'community' for disenchanted middle class people. In the end, however, he finds that his life comes full circle and he's left pretty much in the position he started from.

Series: 3
Episodes: 21
Transmitted: 1976-1979
Channel: BBC1

BBC Television

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