Reece Shearsmith and Steve Pemberton reveal the TV talent starring Inside No. 9 (VIDEO)

Steve Pemberton and Reece Shearsmith (The League of Gentleman) return with a new series of cult black comedy Inside No. 9 tonight, but while they wrote all six episodes, they certainly aren't the stars of the show as they told us.

"Jack Whitehall guest stars in the first episode," says Reece. "He told us he was a fan of League of Gentleman when he was 10 and we though 'God! We're so old!' He knows all of it backwards as well and was quoting it to us throughout filming!"

As with the first series, each episode is a one-off story which tells the tale of people who find themselves at locations called 'No. 9' and in this week's first episode Jack and fellow guest star Julie Hesmondhalgh (Coronation Street) are passengers sharing a room on an overnight sleeper train through France..

"We were filming on a set on springs to give the impression of a train moving,'' expains Steve. "We were on there all day and Jack was a bit prone to travel sickness! He excused himself and went of to the toilet looking a bit green and then came back and met Sheridan Smith for the very first time!"

But the Bad Education star isn't the only big name who'll be cropping up in the series and Sheridan Smith will be leading her own episode a week later

"We tried for a couple of episodes to get her on board last year, but she was filming other things because she's so in demand," says Steve. "We actually made her late to pick up her NTA Award! We were filming that day and we released her on time but the traffic was so bad that she didn't make it in time for her category."

Inside No. 9 starts on Thursday, March 26  at 9pm on BBC2

Sean Marland

Sean is a Senior Feature writer for TV Times, What's On TV and TV & Satellite Week, who also writes for He's been covering the world of TV for over 15 years and in that time he's been lucky enough to interview stars like Ian McKellen, Tom Hardy and Kate Winslet. His favourite shows are I'm Alan Partridge, The Wire, People Just Do Nothing and Succession and in his spare time he enjoys drinking tea, doing crosswords and watching football.