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 - 2022
  • 43 episodes (7 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

Series 5, Episode 1 - The Referee's A W***er

Inside No. 9. Image shows from L to R: Brendan (Reece Shearsmith), Phil (Ralf Little), Martin (David Morrissey), Oggy (Steve Pemberton). Copyright: BBC
The beautiful game. The crunch-clash between United and Rovers in the last match of the season, all safely in the care of the four match officials. A tale of promotion, relegation, corruption, and so, so much more.

Broadcast details

Monday 3rd February 2020
30 minutes


Show past repeats

Date Time Channel
Friday 8th October 2021 10:40pm Gold
Saturday 9th October 2021 9:50pm Gold

Cast & crew

Guest cast
David Morrissey Martin
Ralf Little Phil
Steve Pemberton Oggy
Reece Shearsmith Brendan
Steve Speirs Mitch (Mascot)
Dipo Ola Calvin Cooke
Mark Chapman BBC Radio 5 Live Commentator (Voice)
Alistair Bruce-Ball BBC Radio 5 Live Commentator (Voice)
Writing team
Reece Shearsmith Writer
Steve Pemberton Writer
Production team
Matt Lipsey Director
Adam Tandy Producer
Jon Plowman Executive Producer
Steve Pemberton Associate Producer
Reece Shearsmith Associate Producer
Emily Shapland Line Producer
Devan Vimal Post-Production Producer
Joe Randall-Cutler Editor
Amy Maguire Production Designer
Tracey Gillham Casting Director
Yves Barre Costume Designer
John Sorapure Director of Photography
Nicola Coleman Make-up Designer
Christian Henson Composer
Matthew Gallagher 1st Assistant Director
Gregor Sharp Commissioning Editor


The Referee's a W***er review

That wonderfully distinctive ability to constantly and consistently raise their creative game shows no signs of flagging five series in.

Dodo's Words, 2nd March 2020

TV review: Inside No. 9

The quality of Inside No. 9 varies. Some of the episodes unfurl like exquisite, spooky jewel boxes; others feel too much like "theatre". The first episode of the new series fell into the latter category: a neat little three-act drama about four referees at a football match.

Camilla Long, The Sunday Times, 9th February 2020

TV review: Inside No. 9, series 5, episode 1

I could have forgiven the questionably dodgy plot if it had been a funny episode, but the majority of the jokes were just laborious and banal and there's absolutely no excuse for that.

Alex Finch, Comedy To Watch, 4th February 2020

From a slapstick burglary to a parody of 70s horror and a very cryptic crossword, each episode of Steve Pemberton and Reece Shearsmith's anthology series toes the line between deliciously arch and horrifyingly comic. As it returns, David Morrissey and Ralf Little star in a football-themed tale.

Hannah J Davies, The Guardian, 3rd February 2020

Inside No 9: The Referee's A W*nker review

If conjuring up a fresh set of characters, circumstances and even cinematic style for every new half-hour episode of Inside No 9 takes its toll on Reece Shearsmith and Steve Pemberton's creativity, you wouldn't know it from tonight's taut opening episode of the fifth series.

Steve Bennett, Chortle, 3rd February 2020

How Inside No. 9 makes the mundane unmissable

Now on its fifth series, the magic of Reece Shearsmith and Steve Pemberton's comedy anthology remains its ability to turn even the most banal of scenarios into disturbingly thrilling TV.

Rachel Aroesti, The Guardian, 3rd February 2020

Inside No. 9 series 5 episode 1 review

Inside No. 9 returns with a packed, clever and funny football-themed instalment that's the perfect series opener...

Louisa Mellor, Den Of Geek, 3rd February 2020

Inside No 9, review: The Referee's a W***er

The hit black comedy anthology series by Steve Pemberton and Reece Shearsmith returns for a fifth series.

Sean O'Grady, The Independent, 3rd February 2020

Inside No 9: The Referee's a W----r review

Steve Pemberton and Reece Shearsmith continue to be in a league of their own.

Michael Hogan, The Telegraph, 3rd February 2020

Inside No. 9: the change David Morrissey insisted upon

Before agreeing to appear in Inside No. 9's "The Referee's A W***er", David Morrissey had one condition. Major episode spoilers ahead.

Louisa Mellor, Den Of Geek, 3rd February 2020

Review: Inside No. 9 goes inside the locker room

Although there are plenty of witty lines and the performances are great, "The Referee's a W***er" didn't resonate with me as much as other Inside No. 9 episodes have.

Luke, The Custard TV, 3rd February 2020

Steve Pemberton and Reece Shearsmith: interview

In a rare interview - as Inside No. 9 returns - Jacob Stolworthy speaks to the writing duo about secrets from the new series, their one concern with continuing the show and the past controversy surrounding certain League Of Gentlemen characters.

Jacob Stolworthy, The Independent, 2nd February 2020

TV preview: Inside No. 9: The Referee's A W***er

Prepare to be suitably blown away. Let's just say they haven't dropped the ball.

Bruce Dessau, Beyond The Joke, 2nd February 2020

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