RTS North West hosts exclusive preview of BBC series Inside No. 9

An exclusive preview took place in Manchester this week, celebrating the return of Reece Shearsmith and Steve Pemberton’s macabre BBC Two anthology series Inside No. 9.

The BAFTA-winning show is widely recognised for its iconic blend of black comedy, thriller, horror and emotive drama. Each episode revolves around the conceit that the stories are contained within a No. 9 – whether that’s a house, a classroom, or even a squad car.

To celebrate its return, The Royal Television Society hosted an exclusive episode preview of series eight on 19 March at Vue Cinema Printworks, followed by a live Q&A with its creators.

The latest series was filmed in Manchester and boasts a stellar guest cast including Anita Dobson, Phil Daniels, Robin Askwith, Samantha Spiro, Amanda Abbington, Claire Rushbrook, Asim Chaudhry and Frances Barber.

The duo first rose to fame in the late 90s as part of The League of Gentlemen – a dark comedy series chronicling the twisted antics of various residents in the town of Royston Vasey. While the setting was fictional, it drew upon the group’s own experiences growing up in the north; its eccentric inhabitants so perversely identifiable while evoking life’s insular peculiarities to a grotesque extent. 

Following this show’s success, Shearsmith and Pemberton went on to create the horror thriller comedy series Psychoville, which fused the duo’s shared love of psychological thrillers and comedy. One particular episode of the show laid the foundations for what would soon become Inside No. 9, as all the events took place in a singular room, which was in turn paying homage to Alfred Hitchcock’s Rope.  

Inside No. 9 aired its first series in 2014 and has since garnered a devoted following. A preview screening was also held in London on 6 March at the BFI Southbank, where they showed two episodes: “Paraskevidekatriaphobia” and “Mother’s Ruin”, with the latter set to air on BBC Two at 10pm on Thursday 27 April.

Fans got an exclusive peek at a different episode for the RTS North West screening. While details of the episode screened must be kept firmly under wraps until its transmission date, it has left viewers even more excited for the show’s return.

With a sell-out crowd for the preview screening many fans have relished the opportunity to not only have an event take place up north but also get an insight into Reece and Steve’s creative process.

Fan Grace Hull said: “Having an Inside No. 9 event up north was a dream come true. To see Reece and Steve discuss the journey of the show was incredible. 

“I love the show due to how clever, comical, and unique it is, which means there’s something for everyone to enjoy. The genius of the twist makes each episode a thrill to watch.”

Another fan, Allison Green, said: “I love Inside No. 9 as it’s very original and diverse in its genres and always delivers something surprising.

“Reece and Steve are amazing writers and it was brilliant to be able to see one of the new episodes close to home with them in the same room and to get an insight into their writing process.” 

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