TV: Inside No 9, Episode 6, Private View, BBC2

I’ve been a fan of Inside No 9 since it started and it has maintained its high standards right through to this, the final show of the third series. Private View is set in a subterranean East London art gallery where artist Elliot Quinn his hosting, appropriately, his final show, entitled Fragments.

One by one a mixed bunch of guests arrive. Morgana Robinson is a reality TV star who would go to the opening of an envelope if there was a chance of getting in the red tops. Felicity Kendal plays a blind writer of smutty bodice rippers. Fiona Shaw plays an elderly visitor who arrives with Steve Pemberton, who plays a humourless health and safety officer called Kenneth Williams. And Shearsmith plays a fogeyish art expert. We know there is horror in store because we have barely sat down when someone's rear end - no spoilers, watch to find out who – comes to an icky end.

Buffs of scary films may think of old Amicus films such as Tales From The Crypt. And I wrote the words “Agatha Christie” in my pad shortly before one of the guests namedropped the writer of crime mysteries. But nothing is ever what it seems in Inside No 9. It is way too clever for that. Even if you think you can second guess some of what is around the corner there is plenty more that surprises and scares. And it also does it in a funny way, mixing gore with some darkly comic dialogue.

As ever I’m not going to give anything further away. Needless to say the series goes out in unexpected style. Creators Shearsmith and Pemberton know how to tickle the funny bones, know how to give you nightmares and know how to keep you talking about their work long after the credits have rolled. Never mind Elliot Quinn, they are the true artists here.

A fourth series is currently being filmed. No details of stars or subjects have been released yet, but needless to say I’m one of the fans who can’t wait to see what Shearsmith and Pemberton are cooking up.

Inside No 9, Private View. Catch up here.

Episode 5 Diddle Diddle Dumpling Review. 

Episode 4 Empty Orchestra Review.

Episode 3 Riddle of the Sphinx Review.

Episode 2 The Bill Review.

Episode 1 The Devil of Christmas Review.

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