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Inside No.9 has established itself as one of the BBC’s greatest modern comedy shows, mixing chilling thrills with insanely clever stories over the last seven years and five series.
Creators Reece Shearsmith and Steve Pemberton (The League of Gentlemen, Psychoville) were busy working on season 6 throughout 2020 and it is finally coming to BBC Two this spring.
Inside No.9 is a series of standalone half-hour stories which vary wildly in format and style, jumping from silent movie-style capers and tense thrillers to twist-laden farce and traditional horror.
The only connecting factor between the episodes is that the setting always bears the number 9, be it a house, a flat, a dressing room or the number of a police car.
Each episode also features a fresh cast of recognisable guest stars, who join Shearsmith and Pemberton as a new plot unravels.
Taking the innocuous and making it horrifying, Inside No.9 is a must-watch delight that will have you jumping out of your seat and rolling on the sofa in laughter – often in the same episode.
Here is everything you need to know about Inside No.9, season 6…
When is Inside No.9 season 6 starting?
Season 6 started on Monday, May 10 at 9.30pm on BBC Two and BBC iPlayer.
New episodes air weekly.
Season 1-5 are available to watch now on BBC iPlayer.
Inside No. 9 reviews and Twitter reactions
Inside No.9 returned with one of its most inventive episodes ever, blending the 16th Century stylings of commedia dell’arte with a modern violent heist movie. With incredible guest performances from Gemma Whelan and Kevin Bishop, it's an episode that will reward repeat viewing.
Fans and critics were overjoyed and full of praise for the season 6 premiere.
Anita Singh for The Telegraph wrote: "The melding of styles meant that we had a 1970s-esque heist involving stolen jewels and a climactic shoot-out, but starring stock commedia dell’arte characters speaking as if they were on the stage. Which sounds awfully pretentious, but it wasn’t."
Den of Geek said: "The real appeal of the episode is the unalloyed lark of it all. As ever with Inside No. 9, just ask yourself where else on TV you could see anything quite like it. From the moment Reece Shearsmith enters, with his Dolmio ad Italian accent, military heel-clicks and lines rhyming ‘Hortensia’ with ‘dementia’, you’d need a hard heart not to be won over."
Comedy website Chortle gave a thumbs up, adding: "By rights, the relentlessly jokey sensibility should grate, but – as we’ve come to expect from Inside No 9 - the tone is deftly navigated, done with apparently effortless charm and knowingness."
Episode 1 - Wuthering Heist
The BBC revealed the following description of the first episode in season 6:
"Steve Pemberton & Reece Shearsmith star in a new season of their outrageously dark comedy dramas. Pantalone has in an audacious plan to steal a consignment of diamonds worth a tasty 12 million. But he’s hired a complete bunch of double-crossing clowns to do it."
The guest stars in episode 1 are Kevin Bishop (Porridge), Paterson Joseph (Peep Show) and Gemma Whelan (Game of Thrones).
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Episode 2 - Simon Says
The second episode is based around a Game of Thrones-style TV show, where the creator Spencer Maguire wants to move on from a disappointing season seven finale.
However, one of the bigest fans of the Ninth Circle, Simon Smethurst, is determined to visit Spencer Maguire and "help put things right".
This episode will star Lindsay Duncan (Birdman, Sherlock, A Discovery of Witches).
Episode 3 - Lip Service
This film is directed by Guillem Morales and stars Sian Clifford (Quiz, Fleabag, Two Weeks to Live).
The BBC preview reveals: "Felix is pretty certain his wife is up to something with her boss Dmitri, so he decides to hire some help to prove things either one way or the other.
"When professional lip-reader Iris arrives with her powerful binoculars, the couple stake out a hotel bedroom and start to gather their evidence."
Who are the cast of Inside No.9 season 6?
Guest stars for series 6 will include Sian Clifford (Fleabag, Quiz), man of the moment Adrian Dunbar (Line Of Duty), Paterson Joseph (Peep Show, Noughts + Crosses), Lindsay Duncan (A Discovery Of Witches, Black Mirror) and Kevin Bishop (Porridge).
It will also include Nick Mohammed (Intelligence), Bhavna Limbachia (Coronation Street, Citizen Khan), Sarah Parish (W1A, Atlantis) and Gemma Whelan (The End of the F***ing World, Game Of Thrones, Upstart Crow).
Sir Derek Jacobi becomes the first actor to return to Inside No.9 as a guest star, after providing the voice of Dennis Fulcher in the critically acclaimed series 3 episode The Devil Of Christmas.
What do we know about season 6?
The new season will have six new episodes, which will were filmed across nine months in 2020.
Reece Shearsmith and Steve Pemberton said: “We started filming in March last year but had to hit pause due to the pandemic. After a nine-month gestation it’s a relief to finally deliver our sixth series to the world.
“As proud parents we couldn’t possibly choose a favourite, but like any youngest sibling this series is cheeky, funny - and can get away with murder."
In an exclusive interview with Empire about the new series, Shearsmith revealed: “It feels like we’ve got six new ideas we haven’t done.
“Tonally, there’s a very silly, slapstick one, and then we’ve got far more psychological stories.”
They also revealed that the series would include an episode that mixes mask work “with a heist movie”, an episode called Simon Says about a TV writer meeting a fan, one set in a seedy hotel room and another based in a static caravan.
Shane Allen, controller of BBC comedy, said: “Reece and Steve plough yet more fertile genre comedy talent to these modern masterpieces.”
Josh Cole, head of comedy and BBC Studios Production said: “We’re delighted to have concluded filming the sixth season of Inside No.9. It's a unique series we could not be prouder of, and we are in awe of Reece and Steve’s extraordinary ability to continually raise the bar. Long live Inside No.9!”
How to watch Inside No.9
All five series of Inside No.9 are available on BBC iPlayer.
Season 6 will air weekly on BBC Two and BBC iPlayer from Monday, May 10.
Inside No.9 podcast revealed
You know you've made it with your TV show these days when you get your own spinoff podcast series. That's a good sign for Inside No.9 fans who are getting their own BBC Sounds show, hosted by the show's creators and stars Reece and Steve.
Following each episode of the acclaimed BBC Two anthology of darkly twisted tales, the writers and stars will discuss the inspiration behind each story and reveal behind the scenes insights and secrets.
Guests this series include actors Kevin Bishop, Sarah Parish and members of the crew, from the director to the composer.
The new series follows three special episodes of the podcast, dedicated to the best stories from across the five series so far as chosen by fans. Steve and Reece pore over The Riddle Of The Sphinx, A Quiet Night In and The 12 Days Of Christine.
Reece and Steve said: "We are thrilled to be able to dissect each episode of Inside No. 9 on the podcast again alongside all the brilliant people who make the show with us.
There will be a few surprises in store, with special guests appearing and secrets to be revealed, all from the inside, of Inside No. 9…"
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