Gear Shifting Performance.

My '96 model 523i is doing some weird shifting when accelerating lately. It holds the low gear and will not shift up until I completely take my foot of the accelerator. I am not driving
aggresively, and its a little disconcerting when the engine is spinning at 5500 rpm while I'm doing 100km/hr. If I shift down manually, then shift up after a second it will then shift up a couple of gears and be normal.
Has anyone else experienced this type of behavior? Also, is there a way of manually selecting the gears with an aftermarket flappy-paddle kit or similar? It seems to me that driver input is merely a "suggestion" to the computer.
Cheers, Dom.
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