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Wednesday 24 Sep 2014

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Psychoville episode four – a special treat

Mark Gatiss joins Reece Shearsmith and Steve Pemberton in Psychoville episode four

There was a special treat for fans of The League Of Gentlemen when Mark Gatiss joined Reece Shearsmith and Steve Pemberton for episode four of the BBC Two comedy-thriller Psychoville last night.

The three 'Gents' hadn't performed on the small screen together for seven years – not since the last episode of The League Of Gentlemen which they created alongside writer Jeremy Dyson.

In Psychoville Mark plays Jason Griffiths who encounters mother and son, Maureen (Reece Shearsmith) and serial killer obsessive David (Steve Pemberton) Sowerbutts, as they continue their killing spree.

The episode was doubly special as it was filmed in only two takes in a homage to Hitchcock's classic thriller Rope – three people, one room and one body in a box.

The appearance was kept under wraps to make it as surprising as possible for unsuspecting fans and viewers of the League who have long-awaited any reunion of the cult comedy performers.

Steve Pemberton says: "It was great working with Mark again, just like old times. We had problems keeping a straight face as first one line and then another would send us into fits of laughter.

"I do think it's a very special piece of television and one we can all – cast and crew alike – be justly proud of.

"Having Mark in the 'third man' role got us off to a great start and made us all realise that you can't buy that kind of chemistry.

"Now I can't wait until the three of us get to work together again – hopefully under less stressful conditions!"

Reece Shearsmith adds: "It kind of happened quite naturally that we thought of Mark. He was perfect, and it was also a treat to have a kind of 'reunion' of the 'Gents' in the middle of this series.

"Mark was only available for a day-and-a-half to rehearse – so it was all quite hair-raising on the day. But thankfully, having worked with each other for over ten years, there was almost a supernatural shorthand and it all worked out.

"It's probably one of the best episodes in the series. And, indeed, even if I do say so myself, an extraordinary achievement and gripping half hour of telly!"

Mark Gatiss said: "Originally, because it's Steve and Reece's baby and not the League, it would have seemed wrong to take a cameo of some sort (if offered!) but this episode is so special it was impossible to say no.

"I think Psychoville is a fantastic show and, as I know so little about the rest of it, I'm loving finding out what happens each week.

"I think episode four is quite extraordinary and I'm thrilled to have been part of it and to (almost) reunite the League for one week at least."

To find out how this was achieved and to see behind the scenes on Psychoville go to bbc.co.uk/psychoville.

CS/PA/JD

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