Inside No 9 returns with the mother of all reunions – as episode 1 of series 7 welcomes The League of Gentlemen star Mark Gatiss to the cast.
Any comedy fan worth their salt knows that Inside No 9 creators Steve Pemberton and Reece Shearsmith found fame on The League of Gentlemen.
The trio went on to work together on the West End production of Art, and successful series Psychoville, before amicably going their separate ways to pursue other products.
Until now, that is!
Here’s everything you need to know about the cast of Inside No 9 episode 1 on BBC Two.
Reece Shearsmith portrays Lawrence in Merrily, Merrily
Reece Shearsmith stars as Lawrence in episode 1 of series 7 called Merrily, Merrily.
Lawrence has arranged a special, long overdue reunion with his old university chums Callum and Darren at a remote lake.
But it’s not quite what they were expecting…
For starters, Darren has brought along his new girlfriend Donna, played by Diane Morgan.
She’s been misled into expecting a booze-fuelled party boat, not a plastic pedalo.
And a lot of water has passed under the bridge since their college days and, as they strike out across the empty lake, the conversation takes them into choppier waters.
Of course, Reece Shearsmith is the creator, writer and star of all the Inside No 9 episodes.
Reece made his name alongside Steve Pemberton and Mark Gatiss working on the hugely popular The League of Gentlemen.
The weird and wonderful cult series launched the trio into TV fame.
Reece Shearsmith, 52, has since proved he can play it straight in roles such as DS Sean Stone in Chasing Shadows, Rassmussen in Doctor Who, and Davy in The Hollow Crown.
He also put in a chilling performance as real life murderer Malcolm Webster in the true crime drama The Widower on ITV1.
In 2021, he appeared as a contestant in the 4th series of the Great British Bake Off for Stand Up to Cancer.
Mark Gatiss plays Callum in the cast of Inside No 9 episode 1
Episode 1 of Inside No 9 series 7 will feel like Christmas to The League of Gentlemen fans.
Mark Gatiss, 55, joins his former co-stars for the episode called Merrily, Merrily.
And the storyline about old friends reuniting may feel bittersweet.
Of course, writer, actor and comedian Mark Gatiss has found huge fame since his League of Gentlemen days.
TV roles have included playing Tycho Nestoris in the HBO series Game of Thrones, Stephen Gardiner in Wolf Hall, and Prince Regent in Taboo.
Sherlock fans will know him as Mycroft Holmes in the popular drama series.
He also created the TV series Dracula alongside Steven Moffat, and has written (and starred) in several episodes of Doctor Who.
Steve Pemberton plays Darren in the cast of Inside No 9 episode 1
Steve Pemberton stars as Darren in the first episode of Inside No 9 series 7.
But fans of the show know he’s the creator and writer of the series, alongside Reece Shearsmith.
Together, the pair have starred in every episode so far.
Steve, 54, has also starred in Doctor Who, Blackpool, Shameless, Whitechapel, Good Omens and Mapp and Lucia.
He currently plays Mr. Braithwaite in the BBC family drama Worzel Gummidge.
Diane Morgan stars as Donna
Actress and comedian Diane Morgan also stars in the first episode, entitled Merrily, Merrily.
The 46-year-old actress is best known perhaps for her role as Liz in Motherland.
She’s also known for playing Kath in After Life, and Fiona in Frayed.
Diane played Philomena Cunk on Charlie Brooker’s Weekly Wipe, which spawned its own spin-off shows.
She also wrote and starred in the BBC Two comedy series Mandy.
We. Love. Her. That is all.
When did The League of Gentlemen stop and why?
The League of Gentlemen – in no way connected to the film of the same name – ran from 1999 to 2002.
There was also a fourth series in 2017.
The series was set in Royston Vasey and introduced characters such as Edward Tattsyrup and his wife Tubbs, proprietors of the ‘Local Shop’.
Fans also grew to love the terrifying wife-stealer Papa Lazarou, transgender taxi driver Barbara ‘Babs’ Dixon, and toad-obsessed Harvey and Val Denton.
We’re pretty sure the show would be ‘cancelled’ if it aired now.
In fact, The League of Gentlemen has been removed from Netflix because of their use of blackface.
After a three episode special in 2017, producers confirmed it was “the end of the line”.
Reece Shearsmith has also said: “I don’t know what the next anniversary of it would be.
“When one of us dies?
“It would have to be a while now, until it felt special again.
“Maybe we’ll have a reunion when we’re 70 and return on our Zimmer frames.”
Who stars in the cast of upcoming Inside No 9 series 7 episodes?
Inside No 9 series 7 welcomes some amazing guest stars, too.
Upcoming guest stars include Annette Badland, Sophie Okonedo, Robin Weaver, and Siobhan Redmond.
Jessica Hynes, Noah Valentine, Ron Cook and Georgie Glenn also star.
Highlights must surely include episode 4 entitled Kid/Nap which stars Daniel Mays and Jason Isaacs as two desperate villains, with Daisy Haggard joining them as their intended victim.
Inside No 9 starts on Wednesday April 20 2022 at 10pm on BBC Two.
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