The sixth series of BBC Two’s Inside No.9 airs its penultimate outing tonight (7th June), but that doesn’t mean the dark comedy anthology – which won Best Scripted Comedy at the 2021 BAFTA TV Awards – has run out of memorable guest stars.
Reece Shearsmith and Steve Pemberton’s latest offering will see an actor make a second appearance in the series for the first time ever, with none other than Sir Derek Jacobi returning after lending his voice to series three episode The Devil of Christmas.
However, Jacobi will actually be appearing on screen in the fifth episode titled How Do You Plead?, playing a famous but sickly barrister who has a rather memorable night that will test his resolve to the very end.
The acting legend will be joining an already terrific line-up of guest stars from this latest series, including Fleabag‘s Sian Clifford, Sherlock’s Lindsay Duncan and Line of Duty‘s Adrian Dunbar who played himself in a memorable episode.
Read on for your essential rundown of the Inside No. 9 series six cast, which we’ll be updating weekly.
Episode 5: How Do You Plead
Reece Shearsmith plays Urban
Who is Urban? Urban is the carer of dying barrister Webster, and has an unrivalled ability to cope with the man’s various ailments and extreme vanity.
What else has Reece Shearsmith been in? Outside of his collaborations with Steve Pemberton, Shearsmith has also appeared in Spaced, Horrible Histories, Peter Kay’s Car Share and Good Omens. He competed in The Great Celebrity Bake Off for Stand Up to Cancer in 2021, winning the coveted title of star baker in his episode.
Steve Pemberton plays Attendant
Who is Attendant? Little has been revealed about Steve Pemberton’s unnamed character, other than that he is the lift attendant at Webster’s residence. We’re sure Attendant will have a much bigger part than is being let on…
What else has Steve Pemberton been in? Pemberton is well-known for his previous collaborations with Reece Shearsmith on The League of Gentlemen and Psychoville. He also played Mick Garvey on the ITV sitcom Benidorm and Edward Buchan on the police procedural Whitechapel (referenced in Inside No. 9’s fifth series). Other recent projects include Good Omens, Worzel Gummidge, Death in Paradise and Killing Eve.
Derek Jacobi plays Webster
Who is Webster? Webster is a famous barrister, who is unwell and being cared for by Urban. He’s not an easy man to look after but Urban knows how to handle the elderly man and his ego – until one particular night tests all of Webster’s resolve and legal skills.
What else has Derek Jacobi been in? Classically trained legend Sir Derek Jacobi is best known for his stage work in numerous Shakespeare productions as well as founding the Royal National Theatre. On television, many will recognise him from his BAFTA-winning performance in I,Claudius and for playing Alan Buttershaw in Last Tango in Halifax, as well as his appearances in Cadfael, Doctor Who and The Crown.
Aaron Neil plays Curt
Who is Curt? The mysterious Curt appears only appears in a brief scene when he appears to pay a glum visit to Webster.
What else has Aaron Neil been in? Aaron Neil is best known for his roles in Channel 4 comedy Home and Doctor Who spin-off Class, and has also appeared in Paddington 2, Peaky Blinders, The Hustle and The Tracey Ullman Show.
Episode 4: Hurry Up and Wait
Reece Shearsmith plays James
Who is James? James is an actor, who is waiting for his big moment on the set of ITV’s prestigious new crime drama. While the set holding area should be a relaxing space, it’s actually a static caravan owned by strange couple Oona and Stan.
Steve Pemberton plays Stan
Who is Stan? Stan is a strange man whose static caravan is used as a holding area for ITV’s new crime drama starring Adrian Dunbar and James. He lives in the caravan with his wife Oona and their daughter Bev.
Adrian Dunbar plays Adrian
Who is Adrian? Line of Duty’s Adrian Dunbar is playing a heightened version of himself in this Inside No. 9 episode, which is centred around a new ITV drama starring Dunbar in the leading role.
What else has Adrian Dunbar been in? Dunbar is best known for starring as Superintendent Ted Hastings in BBC One’s hit drama Line of Duty, however he has also appeared in shows such as The Jump, Ashes to Ashes, The Hollow Crown and Broken.
Bhavna Limbachia plays Jo
Who is Jo? Jo is a producer on the set of James’s ITV crime drama.
What else has Bhavna Limbachia been in? Limbachia played Rana Habbeb on Coronation Street from 2016 until 2019, and has appeared in Horrible Histories, cuffs, Mount Pleasant, Pramface and Citizen Khan.
Donna Preston plays Bev
Who is Bev? Bev is the peculiar daughter of Stan and Oona who lives with them in their static caravan.
What else has Donna Preston been in? Donna Preston has appeared in Grimsby, The Hitman’s Bodyguard, Michael McIntyre’s Big Show, Fully Blown and Famalam, while she recently joined the cast for Netflix’s upcoming The Sandman adaptation.
Pauline McLynn plays Oona
Who is Oona? Oona is Stan’s wife and Bev’s mother, who lives with them in the static caravan.
What else has Pauline McLynne been in? Irish actress Pauline McLynn is best known for her roles in Father Ted, Shameless, Jam & Jerusalem and EastEnders.
Episode 3: ‘Lip Service’
Steve Pemberton plays Felix
Who is Felix? Felix is a data entry manager who is convinced that his wife is having an affair.
Reece Shearsmith plays Eric
Who is Eric? Eric is a hotel manager from Germany, who takes the experience of his guests very seriously.
Sian Clifford plays Iris
Who is Iris? Iris is a professional lip-reader, hired by Felix to spy on his wife.
What else has Sian Clifford been in? After starting her career in theatre, Clifford burst onto the screen in Phoebe Waller-Bridge’s acclaimed dark comedy Fleabag, where she played the title character’s long-suffering sister. Since then, she portrayed Diana Ingram in the ITV’s Quiz and co-starred opposite Maisie Williams in Sky One’s Two Weeks to Live.
Episode 2: ‘Simon Says’
Steve Pemberton plays Spencer
Who is Spencer? Spencer is the creator of a hugely popular television series called The Ninth Gate, which amassed huge viewership across its lengthy run but delivered a highly disappointing final episode in its seventh season. Now, he finds himself hounded by extreme fans who want to correct what they perceive as his failings.
Reece Shearsmith plays Simon
Who is Simon? Simon is a huge fan of Spencer’s The Ninth Gate and approaches him with a rewritten series finale that corrects many of the “mistakes” of the original.
Lindsay Duncan plays Loretta
Who is Loretta? Loretta is Spencer’s agent.
What else has Lindsay Duncan been in? Duncan is a renowned British actress with many high-profile credits to her name. You may recognise her from roles in GBH, Spooks, Doctor Who, Merlin, Sherlock and A Discovery of Witches. On the big screen, she appeared in 2014’s Academy Award winner Birdman.
Episode 1: ‘Wuthering Heist’
Steve Pemberton plays The Doctor
Who is The Doctor? No, he’s not a Time Lord. In Wuthering Heist, The Doctor is a member of the crew plotting an elaborate diamond heist.
Reece Shearsmith plays Scaramouche
Who is Scaramouche? Scaramouche is a member of the heist crew specialising in explosives.
Paterson Joseph plays Pantalone
Who is Pantalone? Pantalone is the leader of the criminal gang plotting a diamond heist; a no-nonsense tough guy who came up with their plan himself.
What else has Paterson Joseph been in? Fans of British comedy will know Joseph for his iconic role of Alan Johnson on the acclaimed sitcom Peep Show, while he also played various roles on sketch series That Mitchell and Webb Look. More recently, he has taken dramatic roles in ITV’s Law & Order: UK, HBO’s The Leftovers and BBC One’s Noughts + Crosses.
Gemma Whelan plays Columbina
Who is Columbina? Columbina is a senior member of the crime gang, serving as Pantalone’s right-hand woman.
What else has Gemma Whelan been in? Game of Thrones fans will recognise Whelan as Yara Greyjoy, a character she played across multiple seasons of the epic drama series. She has also starred in David Mitchell sitcom Upstart Crow, as well as dramas Gentleman Jack, White House Farm and Killing Eve. In 2020, she appeared in Jane Austen adaptation Emma.
Dino Kelly plays Mario
Who is Mario? Mario is the son of The Doctor.
Kevin Bishop plays Arlo
Who is Arlo? Arlo is a dim-witted member of the gang.
What else has Kevin Bishop been in? Kevin Bishop broke out on the impressions-based comedy series Star Stories, which he followed up with his own self-titled sketch show on Channel 4. He appeared in an episode of Peep Show’s third series and, more recently, starred in the revival of prison sitcom Porridge.
Rosa Robson plays Hortensia
Who is Hortensia? Hortensia is another member of the heist crew.
What else has Rosa Robson been in? Robson appeared in BBC Three comedy Nick Helm’s Heavy Entertainment.
We’ll update this page weekly with the cast of future series six episodes.