PROJECTS

 

Reggie Perrin

Reggie Perrin is a modern update of the original BBC series which starred Leonard Rossiter. It stars Martin Clunes and began broadcast 24 April 2009. Neil plays Chris Jackson, Reggie's unhinged, over-motivated boss. Other cast members include Fay Ripley, Wendy Craig, Geoffrey Whitehead, Kerry Howard, Jim Howick and Lucy Liemann.

The series was commissioned by Jay Hunt controller of BBC1 and Cheryl Taylor controller of BBC Comedy. The new series was written by Simon Nye and original series creator David Nobbs. The first series was broadcast on BBC One, as well as in high definition on BBC HD. A seconds eries began airing on 14 October 2010.

The plot is as follows: Reginald Perrin is a middle-aged project executive for "Groomtech", a manufacturer of grooming products, where he is in charge of disposable razors. Although secure in his marriage, with a paid-for house, no children, a car and a comfortable living, he is dissatisfied with the grind of modern living - such as his daily commute by train, often overcrowded and "27 minutes late" due to a plethora of reasons - and undergoing a mid-life crisis, keeping himself entertained by fantasies. At work, he has to contend with a dim secretary, two fawning but ambitious junior executives, and an overbearing boss, Chris Jackson. Lacking attention from his wife, Nicola, he finds a fantasy distraction in his colleague, Jasmine Strauss. The latter comes close to being consummated during a business trip to Finland when Perrin and Strauss are inebriated and Strauss (as with Perrin's secretary Joan in the 1970s original) removes her blouse to reveal a black brassiere, but Perrin is apparently overcome with feelings for his wife, shortly after which Jackson appears unexpectedly, setting up a potentially embarrassing situation.

Neil's character Chris is Reggie's unhinged, over-motivated boss. He didn't get where he is today without being able to recognise a brilliant new squirt-based concept in shaving design when he sees one. How Groomtech survives under his leadership is a mystery, as his ideas and decision-making are far from good. Chris is work obsessed - he sends text messages to his staff in the evenings and at weekends too. It's possible he doesn't even go home. Chris likes to think he is a good people person, but he clearly isn't. For example, sitting in a big high chair looming over your employees is not great for making your staff feel at home. Chris is sacked in Series 2 and Reggie takes over his job. Reggie later hires him to make a commercial for the line of 'Grot'-products. While the commercial and new products become a huge success, Groomtech is eventually sold. Chris then becomes director again, as Reggie had told the new owners that he wasn't fit for the job.

Series written by: David Nobbs, Simon Nye ; Directed by: Tristram Shapeero ; Cast: Martin Clunes, Fay Ripley, Wendy Craig, Geoffrey Whitehead, Neil Stuke, Lucy Liemann; Produced by: Charlie Hanson Ben Farrell; Music composed by: Ronnie Hazelhurst, Jonathan Whitehead, Mark Thomas