Inside No 9 gets a fourth series

The BBC has asked writers Steve Pemberton and Reece Shearsmith for another six episodes before the third series has aired

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The BBC has commissioned a fourth series of Steve Pemberton and Reece Shearsmith’s dark comedy series Inside No 9 even before the next one has finished airing.

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The third run of the show kicked off on BBC2 with a macabre Christmas special, with the remaining five standalone episodes due to air in the next few weeks. But the BBC has been so pleased with it that a further six have been ordered for a fourth series in 2018.

Episodes in series three include a crossword-related thriller set in the study of a Cambridge don and a mystery in a restaurant involving four friends and an argument over a bill.

Series three guest-stars an impressive roster of performers including Felicity Kendal, Tamzin Outhwaite, Fiona Shaw, Philip Glenister, Morgana Robinson, Jason Watkins, Keeley Hawes and Mat Baynton in another string of bizarre comic mysteries, often with grisly twists.

Previous runs have featured stars such as Sheridan Smith, David Warner, Timothy West, Jack Whitehall, Alison Steadman and Gemma Arterton.

As usual, each film for series four will be set in a different location with a fresh story. The BBC has not disclosed the cast.

However, Shearsmith told RadioTimes.com that it has already been written and will be just as ambitious and just as weird: one episode is set in a hotel corridor and is written entirely in iambic pentameter, he revealed.

“Once we have filmed series four we will have made 24 episodes,” he said. “That’s quite a lot.

“It’s time for the neighbours at No 7 and No 11 to get worried again. We are delighted at the prospect of a fourth series and venturing into six more properties with a ‘9’ on the door. We do hope you will be there to join us, kicking and screaming to be let out.”

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Shane Allen, Controller, Comedy Commissioning, said of the new commission: “Reece and Steve set their own bar ever higher with each series, they are consistently brilliant. “