As a little girl, Michelle Payne (Theresa Palmer) dreams of the impossible: winning the Melbourne Cup - horse racing's toughest two-mile race. The youngest of 10 children, Michelle is raised by a single father (Sam Neill). She leaves school at 15 to become a jockey and after early failures she finds her feet, but a family tragedy, followed by her own near fatal horse fall all but ends the dream. But with the love of her dad and brother, Stevie, Michelle will not give up.
Adapted by David Nobbs from his novel The Fall and Rise of Reginald Perrin brilliantly captured the mid-1970s zeitgeist. It opened each week with a naked Reggie walking out into the sea to end it all before rapidly rethinking the whole idea and told the story of a man desperate to escape his loving but dull marriage disappointing offspring and the daily grind of his job. The first series - while hilariously funny - was incredibly dark focusing on a man in nervous breakdown. Each week Reggie's behaviour becomes more erratic his excuses to his secretary for lateness weirder and weirder (22 minutes late Joan: a badger ate a junction box at New Malden) and his fantasies of seducing her more vivid. The mere mention of his mother-in-law is enough to send an image of a hippo lumbering through his head and each episode ends with Reggie screaming in frustration. Ultimately he fakes his own death but is reunited with wife Elizabeth when he attends his funeral in disguise and can't resist wooing her all over again. Reggie returned a year later bent on setting up a new business Grot selling useless goods. It was of course a massive success leaving Reggie trapped back in the rat race. For the third less successful series he abandoned wage-slavery again this time setting up a commune for his former co-workers. A brilliant satire the programme will also be remembered for its catchphrases including Reggie's boss CJ's I didn't get where I am today by... and Reggie's brother-in-law Jimmy constantly cadging food on the basis of a bit of a cock-up on the catering front. Above all there was Leonard Rossiter's brilliant performance as Reginald Iolanthe Perrin. RIP to both.
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