Inside No 9 tricks the nation with live Halloween prank episode: The best reactions

BBC viewers who watched the episode live received quite the shock

Jacob Stolworthy
Monday 29 October 2018 09:48
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Inside No 9, live Halloween episode

BBC anthology series Inside No 9 aired a live Halloween special episode last night – and terrified everyone who watched it live.

The episode began rather normally before running into technical issues. After a few attempts to fix the sound glitch, a BBC apology card appeared with the announcer stating the live episode had been halted and an old episode would air in its place.

Sure enough, series one's silent comedy episode “A Quiet Night In” began. A few minutes in, however, the broadcast was hijacked by the appearance of a terrifying looking ghost before unsettlingly switching to CCTV footage of creators Steve Pemberton and Reece Shearsmith in their dressing room, awaiting details of what was to happen with the live episode.

A rather meta moment saw Shearsmith alerted to the fact that footage of their dressing room was being broadcast on TV, spurring him on to send a tweet that his followers saw appear on their feeds in real time. It all added to the feeling that what they were watching was real.


As the episode transpired, it was revealed that they were broadcasting from a haunted TV studio, with a spirit – a former production worker who died by suicide years before – wreaking vengeance on the writing duo seemingly for refusing to admit they believe in ghosts on an old episode of The One Show.

Viewers praised the episode’s creativity as “genius” with one Twitter user stating the show’s director, Adam Tandy, had been sowing seeds of concern over technical difficulties in the days leading up to the episode. Many Twitter users had hilariously expressed legitimate anger over the BBC's sound issues, with some even changing channels and missing what is being called one of the television events of the year.

Earlier this week, it was reported that Shearmith and Pemberton had pulled out of filming at Granada Studios after learning its sets were haunted. It's unknown whether these were promotional tie-ins or whether these journalists fell victim toe hd writing duo's pranks.

The critically-acclaimed Inside No 9 began in 2014 and has featured episodes starring Katherine Parkinson, Jason Watkins, Sheridan Smith and Derek Jacobi.

You can read our review of the episode - titled "Ghost Line" - here.

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