Inside No 9: Every guest star that returned for final episode

Inside No 9 has come to an end with a top secret episode that featured a surprise for long-time viewers.

For the BBC show’s finale, which arrived rather fittingly at the end of the ninth series, creators Steve Pemberton and Reece Shearsmith assembled dozens of guest stars who have featured in past episodes.

The episode was titled Plodding On, and was set at an Inside No 9 wrap party, with all the actors playing heightened versions of themselves. One such star to appear, to the surprise of some fans, was Sherlock star Amanda Abbington.

Abbington, who appeared in the series eight episode “Paraskevidekatriaphobia”, has been embroiled in a Strictly Come Dancing controversy after quitting the show weeks into the latest series.

The actor was paired with Italian professional Giovanni Pernice and, shortly after leaving the show, requested what was described as “tense” training footage. In the last six months, Pernice’s training regime has been placed under the spotlight and he will not be a part of the forthcoming series, which will launch in September.

Abbington’s return to the BBC surprised many, especially considering the actor said her time on Strictly left her with PTSD. She also recently claimed that her accusations against Pernice has led to death threats.

Other stars to have dialogue in the Inside No 9 finale included Katherine Parkinson, Tim Key and Anne Reid, who brought things full circle having starred in the first ever episode, “Sardines”, back in 2012. Ted Lasso actor Nick Mohammed also returned after appearing in series six episode “Simon Says”, as did Rosie Cavaliero (series one’s “The Understudy”) and Jason Watkins (series three’s “The Bill”).

There was even time for a League of Gentlemen reunion as Mark Gatiss, who co-wrote and starred in that show with Pemberton and Shearsmith, showed up for a brief virtual cameo. He starred in Inside No 9’s series seven episode “Merrily, Merrily”.

Amanda Abbington had a recurring role in the ‘Inside No 9’ finale (BBC)
Amanda Abbington had a recurring role in the ‘Inside No 9’ finale (BBC)

But an assortment of other stars showed up without having any lines, and could merely be seen congregated watching a montage sequence saying goodbye to the show. The cast list at the end of the episode revealed which stars were there. They included Line of Duty actor Adrian Dunbar and Baby Reindeer’s Jessica Gunning.

Find the full list of Inside No 9 guest stars who returned for the last ever episode below:

Mark Benton, Kevin Bishop, Mark Bonnar, Asim Chaudhry, Kenneth Cranham, Phil Daniels, Adam Deacon, Monica Dolan, Michele Dotrice, Kevin Eldon, Gaby French, Sian Gibson, Tamsin Greig, Julie Hesmondhalgh, Conleth Hill, Jim Howick, Emiky Howlett, Paterson Joseph, Elsie Kelly, Denis Lawson, Europa Lepus, Rula Lenska, Ralf Little, Alice Lowe, Lyndsey Marshal, David Morrissey, Tamzin Outhwaite, Gemma Page, Bill Paterson, Maxine Peake, Sheila Reid, Julian Rhind-Tutt, Alexandra Roach, Debbie Rush, Poppy Rush, Claire Skinner, Alison Steadman, Sophie Thompson, Noah Valentine, Saskia Wakefield, Zoë Wanamaker, Gemma Whelan, Ben Wilibond, Susan Wokoma, Jack Wolfe.

The actors who returned for the ‘Inside No 9’ series finale (BBC)
The actors who returned for the ‘Inside No 9’ series finale (BBC)

The episode’s title “Plodding On” was a reference to an episode Pemberton and Shearsmith always intended to make, but never got around to.

Pemberton told The Independent of their experience writing the show in 2020: “The pressures are the same: can you tell a good story and keep people gripped? That is just as hard whatever your budget is. We don’t sit here feeling sorry for Charlie [Brooker] because of the millions he has to spend. The BBC is still a great brand to be a part of and, of course, they’re having to change and adapt so things in five years will look very different. But we can’t predict that. We’re just, as we nearly called one of the episodes, plodding on.”