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Real reason iconic BBC series is coming to an end after 10 years

From playing murderous Cambridge professors and cat burglars to killer magicians and call centre employees, Steve Pemberton and Reece Shearsmith have taken on all kinds of twisted characters throughout Inside No 9’s run.

Now, the double act are retiring their award-winning dark comedy after one last series – which fittingly happens to be the ninth.

“We’re not treating it too differently to any of the series really – it’s always manic,” says Steve, 56, of the anthology series. “People keep asking us how we feel, but we’re just focusing on making this. I think filming the last episode will be hard.”



Inside No. 9's Steve Pemberton and Reece Shearsmith have revealed that it's "the right time" to bring the show to an end
Inside No. 9’s Steve Pemberton and Reece Shearsmith have revealed that it’s “the right time” to bring the show to an end

Reece, 54, adds, “These scripts have been in our heads for a long time, so it’s nice when you finally get to do them. It probably hasn’t dawned on us yet that it’s the last one.”

Despite picking up multiple Baftas and a steady rise in ratings, the duo know it’s “the right time” to officially close the door to No 9.

“We feel really lucky to have got to nine,” says Steve. “We don’t have any doubts that it’s the right time to leave it while people are still enjoying it and finding it surprising. The moment a show becomes predictable, it’s dead for us.”

“We didn’t know we’d be doing it for 10 years,” says Reece. “Every series was a surprise to us. We’ve done so many different things – a lifetime of ideas. We just wish it was Inside No 2, then we’d have been done years ago!”



Inside No. 9's Steve Pemberton and Reece Shearsmith are bringing their anthology dark comedy to an end after nine series
Inside No. 9’s Steve Pemberton and Reece Shearsmith are bringing their anthology dark comedy to an end after nine series

With only six episodes left, Steve admits they have tried to get through as many pitches as possible. “We’ve been talking about one episode called The Curse Of The Ninth for a long time – it’s about a superstition in classical music that once you’ve composed your ninth symphony, you’re going to die.

“We thought it was good thematically to save this one for the ninth series – hopefully we won’t drop dead next week!”

Fans can also expect an episode set in an escape room, one shot with a Ring doorbell and the series premiere, in which Steve plays a drag queen trapped on the London Underground. “You should have seen people looking at him as we filmed,” Reece laughs.

Dressing in full drag attire wasn’t as fun as it looked for Steve, who suffered with his prosthetics. “I got a bit irritated by my boob rack,” he says. “So I was a bit preoccupied with the rash going on under my latex thing that I’d been basically laminated in.”



Steve Pemberton admits that his breast prosthetics "irritated" his skin whilst playing a drag queen
Steve Pemberton admits that his breast prosthetics “irritated” his skin whilst playing a drag queen

Thankfully, he was distracted from the discomfort by the episode’s stellar cast, including his Benidorm co-stars Siobhan Finneran and Matthew Kelly. “I could see just from looking around at the group of actors that we had hit gold with that episode,” he says. “It was a really fun one to film. We had been talking about setting one on a train since series one.”

Looking back on a decade of hilarious, horrifying and sometimes heart-warming episodes, the pair will always remember catching their fans by surprise with the secret episode in the last series that starred Lee Mack as himself.

Last May, BBC Two announced that Inside No 9 had been rescheduled, and aired what was billed as a new game show hosted by Lee instead. When the episode ended with a studio in chaos and a contestant’s head exploding, viewers realised they had been fooled by Steve and Reece.



Reece Shearsmith and Benidorm's Siobhan Finneran star in the first episode of Inside No. 9's final series
Reece Shearsmith and Benidorm’s Siobhan Finneran star in the first episode of Inside No. 9’s final series

“The initial idea was to put it in a slot where you wouldn’t know it was in the slot of Inside No 9 so there was no possible way to know,” Reece smiles, before adding that the BBC wouldn’t let them.

“It’s so hard to do anything that surprises viewers these days, but it did feel like we managed to land it and it hadn’t gotten out. That was a real thrill to do.”

Steve adds, “We told Lee, ‘Tell us what you would do if you were presenting The 1% Club.’ He brought so much to it. There was so much funny stuff that we had to cut. I think we could get a little 32-episode commission for that!”

This isn’t the end of Reece and Steve’s working partnership, however, with the pair hoping to take Inside No 9 to the stage.



Lee Mack in Inside No. 9's surprise episode, playing himself as a quiz show host
Lee Mack in Inside No. 9’s surprise episode, playing himself as a quiz show host

“We’ll always want to write together, but your brain needs to fill up again and we’ve had 10 relentless years of coming up with 55 different complete worlds,” Steve says.

Reece adds, “We need to know it’s going to be on stage and in the credits of the last one say, ‘Inside No 9 will return to the theatre.’”

Could it ever come back to our screens? “Perhaps in nine years,” Steve smiles.

Inside No 9 airs Wednesday 8th May at 10pm on BBC Two

View news Source: https://www.ok.co.uk/tv/real-reason-iconic-bbc-series-32693603

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