Inside No. 9. Image shows from L to R: Steve Pemberton, Reece Shearsmith
Inside No. 9

Inside No. 9

  • TV comedy drama
  • BBC Two
  • 2014 - 2024
  • 55 episodes (9 series)

Dark comedy anthology series from Reece Shearsmith and Steve Pemberton. Each episode focuses on the goings-on around something to do with the number 9.

Episode menu

Inside No. 9 Live - Dead Line

Inside No. 9. Image shows from L to R: Arthur Flitwick (Steve Pemberton), Moira O'Keefe (Stephanie Cole), Rev. Neil (Reece Shearsmith). Copyright: BBC
When Arthur finds an old mobile phone in his local graveyard, he makes the mistake of trying to contact the owner. But some mysteries are best left unsolved, and as Halloween draws near Arthur is plunged into a nightmare of his own making. It seems that no good deed can go unpunished, in this world or the next.

Preview clips


The 25th episode of Inside No. 9, Dead Line was broadcast and scored completely live. It was originally intended to be broadcast on Halloween night itself, but had to be moved to accommodate BBC Two's schedules. The script was rewritten to reflect this.

Steve Pemberton and Reece Shearsmith interview

Broadcast details

Sunday 28th October 2018
30 minutes


Show past repeats

Date Time Channel
Sunday 31st October 2021 9:00pm Gold
Monday 1st November 2021 1:00am Gold
Saturday 22nd October 2022 11:20pm Gold
Tuesday 25th October 2022 11:20pm Gold
Friday 28th October 2022 11:40pm Gold
Saturday 29th October 2022 11:00pm Gold
Monday 31st October 2022 1:00am Gold
Monday 31st October 2022 3:15am Gold
Monday 31st October 2022 9:00pm Gold
Tuesday 1st November 2022 12:40am Gold

Cast & crew

Guest cast
Steve Pemberton Arthur Flitwick
Reece Shearsmith Rev. Neil
Stephanie Cole Moira O'Keefe
Robin Berry Alan Starr (Coronation Street Crew Member)
Chandrika Chevli Laura Howarth (News Reporter)
Sophie Jugé Ghost
Connie Wilkins Ghost
Yvonne D'Alpra Radio Advert (Voice)
Rich Keeble Radio DJ (Voice)
Emma Stannard Radio Advert (Voice)
Beccy Wright BBC Two Continuity Announcer (Voice)
Writing team
Reece Shearsmith Writer
Steve Pemberton Writer
Production team
Barbara Wiltshire Director
Jon Plowman Executive Producer
Steve Pemberton Associate Producer
Reece Shearsmith Associate Producer
Adam Tandy Series Producer
Claire McCarthy Producer
Rebecca Kerley Line Producer
Jackie Ramsamy Archive Producer
Simon Rogers Production Designer
Tracey Gillham Casting Director
Yves Barre Costume Designer
Christian Henson Composer
Marcus Whitney Make-up Designer
Martin Kempton Lighting Designer
Gregor Sharp Commissioning Editor


Interview with cast & crew of Dead Line

When Inside No. 9, the genre-defying anthology series, showed the groundbreaking live episode 'Dead Line' at Halloween, they created one of the great TV moments of 2018. In this session we revisit the episode and talk to the show's creators Reece Shearsmith and Steve Pemberton, along with director Barbara Wiltshire and long-standing producer Adam Tandy.

Featuring: Reece Shearsmith, Steve Pemberton, Barbara Wiltshire & Adam Tandy.


How Inside No. 9 wanted to decapitate Mrs Brown

The creators of Inside No. 9 have revealed that they considered decapitating the sitcom character Mrs Brown in their groundbreakingly live episode Dead Line.

Bruce Dessau, Beyond The Joke, 6th May 2021

It would have been impressive enough if Reece Shearsmith and Steve Pemberton had merely followed through with their promise of a live version of their superlative comedy horror anthology series. Instead they chose to take a chainsaw to the entire concept of the live episode itself and produced the year's outstanding half hour of TV in the process. Dead Line began as a creaky TV play about a misunderstanding over a missing phone, but then the "technical difficulties" started, with the programmes' sound and vision flickering intermittently. Many assumed that it was a Beeb balls-up and switched off, but those who stuck around were treated to a deliciously meta-horror story based on rumours of evil spirits haunting the old Granada studios - all told completely live, of course. In a year where - between Bodyguard, the World Cup and Love Island - appointment TV's return was widely trumpeted, this was one occasion when you really "had to be there".

Gwilym Mumford, The Guardian, 19th December 2018

Inside No.9 review: Halloween special: 'Dead Line'

The way it was done, the sheer audacity of the whole thing left one almost open-mouthed in admiration and amazement.

Dodo's Words, 19th November 2018

Inside No. 9 Live: staging a Halloween prank

Executive producer Adam Tandy lifts the lid on the delicate staging of an elaborate hoax.

Adam Tandy, Broadcast, 31st October 2018

Inside No. 9: the road to devilish deception

Where did The Sun and their quoted source, The Daily Star, get the Inside No. 9 Granada Studios story? Is it possible they were fed it as part of the show's mischief...

Louisa Mellor, Den Of Geek, 30th October 2018

Inside No. 9's live episode was exceptionally clever

Television history, urban myth, horror tradition, all bound together and delivered at a breakneck pace through live television.

James Cooray Smith, The New Statesman, 30th October 2018

Inside No 9, live Halloween episode, review

The League of Gentlemen graduates deploy retro-horror with some very post modern twisting.

Sean O'Grady, The Independent, 29th October 2018

TV review: Inside No. 9

I'd love it if some people came in to the show half way through and bought in to the harrowing events that were inflicted upon us.

Alex Finch, Comedy To Watch, 29th October 2018

Inside No 9: Dead Line review

Steve Pemberton and Reece Shearsmith love a gimmick, coming up with ever-inventive ways to present each of their Inside No 9 stories.

Steve Bennett, Chortle, 29th October 2018

Tantalisingly, all Steve Pemberton and Reece Shearsmith will give away about this live special is that it's Halloween night and a man is making his way home through the graveyard of a church when he finds a mobile on one of the graves. His attempt to contact the owner unleashes a dark chain of events. Be there and be scared.

Mike Bradley, The Guardian, 28th October 2018

Inside No 9 Live, review

A prank pulled off with aplomb, this was a televisual trick and treat.

Michael Hogan, The Telegraph, 28th October 2018

How will Inside No 9's live Halloween episode work?

Steve Pemberton and Reece Shearsmith discuss the scariest TV project they've ever worked on...

Sam Peters, Radio Times, 28th October 2018

Late Coronation Street stars 'haunting Granada Studios'

Coronation Street stars from years gone by are haunting the soap's old set at the Granada Studios in Manchester.

The spooky goings-on are thought to have got so bad, that BBC Two show Inside No. 9 has even pulled out of filming there.

Julia Pritchard, The Sun, 26th October 2018

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