Reeson Wayne Shearsmith
27 August 1969
|Education||Bretton Hall College|
Reeson Wayne "Reece" Shearsmith (born 27 August 1969) is an English actor, writer and comedian. He is best known for being a member of The League of Gentlemen, alongside Steve Pemberton, Mark Gatiss, and Jeremy Dyson. With Pemberton, he later created, wrote and starred in the sitcom Psychoville, as well as the dark comedy anthology series, Inside No. 9.
Shearsmith was born in Hull, East Riding of Yorkshire, as Reeson Wayne Shearsmith. He attended Andrew Marvell High School and then Bretton Hall College of Education where he met Mark Gatiss and Steve Pemberton, fellow actors and comedians.
1995–2005: Career beginnings and The League of Gentlemen
The League of Gentlemen began as a stage act in 1995, transferred to Radio 4 as On the Town with The League of Gentlemen in 1997 and then arrived on television on BBC Two in 1999.
Following The League of Gentlemen, Shearsmith appeared in comedy programmes including Max and Paddy's Road to Nowhere as well as playing villain Tony in the Vic Reeves and Bob Mortimer comedy Catterick.
He appeared in two episodes of the award-winning pop-culture comedy Spaced as Robot Wars obsessed TA soldier Dexter and played neurotic Doctor Flynn in hospital sitcom TLC alongside Alexander Armstrong.
2005–2013: Theatre, Psychoville and continued success
In the 2008 English language DVD release of the cult 2006 Norwegian animated film Free Jimmy, Shearsmith voiced the character of "Ante", a heavy-set, bizarrely-dressed biker member of the "Lappish Mafia". In this, his voice is used along with Steve Pemberton and Mark Gatiss.
Psychoville began June 2009 and marked his return to BBC2. The dark comedy series was written by Shearsmith and his League of Gentlemen writing partner Steve Pemberton. Both Shearsmith and Pemberton played numerous characters in the programme, which ran for two series and a Halloween special.
In 2011, Cameron Mackintosh's new musical Betty Blue Eyes opened in the West End, in which Shearsmith played downtrodden husband Gilbert Chilvers (a chiropodist) alongside Sarah Lancashire. Also in 2011, he played Harry Wiseman in Eric & Ernie, a feature-length TV drama about Morecambe and Wise.
In 2012, he appeared in Bad Sugar, a comedy pilot written by Sam Bain & Jesse Armstrong, along with Olivia Colman, Julia Davis and Sharon Horgan. A full series order was cancelled due to availability of the writers and cast. He also appeared in comedy pilot The Function Room.
He worked with Vic Reeves and Bob Mortimer again in the first series of House of Fools as Martin the ghost and in the Christmas special as Santa. He made two guest appearances in Jeremy Dyson's Psychobitches as Old Mother Shipton in series one and Princess Margaret in series two. Also in 2013, he starred in Ben Wheatley's A Field in England as Whitehead and appeared in The World's End.
2014–present: Inside No. 9 and ITV dramas
In 2014, Shearsmith and Pemberton returned to BBC2 with a new dark comedy series called Inside No. 9. Each episode of the anthology series takes place in a different 'No. 9' location. Shearsmith and Pemberton play various characters in the series and have also directed two of the episodes. Also in 2014, he starred as Malcolm Webster in ITV drama series, based on a true story, The Widower.
In 2015, he played Gagan Rassmussen in the Series 9 Doctor Who episode "Sleep No More", Steele in High-Rise directed by Ben Wheatley, Ray in Peter Kay's Car Share and Pastor John in the Christmas specials of Julia Davis’ Hunderby. In February 2015, Shearsmith was interviewed by Adam Buxton on BBC Radio 4's Chain Reaction and he then interviewed Bob Mortimer.
In 2016, he appeared in Mid Morning Matters With Alan Partridge, American musical comedy series Galavant and dark comedy thriller Stag. He appeared live at Latitude Festival in Southwold, Suffolk.
A Christmas special of Inside No. 9 aired in December 2016 and a third series in 2017.
In 2017, Shearsmith appeared in the part-animated film Borley Rectory: The Most Haunted House in England. It was written and directed by Ashley Thorpe and co-starred Jonathan Rigby. Shearsmith also appeared in the title role in The Dresser at the Chichester Festival Theatre, as well as reuniting with The League of Gentlemen for three television specials, transmitted on BBC2 in December 2017.
Shearsmith appeared as himself in the 2018 short film To Trend on Twitter in aid of young people with cancer charity CLIC Sargent with fellow comedians David Baddiel, Steve Pemberton, Helen Lederer and actor Jason Flemyng.
In 2020, he received a nomination for the Laurence Olivier Award for Best Actor in a Supporting Role for his performance as The President and Jon in A Very Expensive Poison at The Old Vic.
In 2021, he appeared as a contestant in the 4th series of The Great British Bake Off For Stand Up To Cancer. For his performance in Series 5 of Inside No. 9, Shearsmith received a nomination for Best Male Comedy Performance at the 2021 British Academy Television Awards. In December 2021, Shearsmith and Pemberton toured the UK as Inside No.9: An Evening With Reece Shearsmith and Steve Pemberton answering fan questions and share behind-the-scenes stories from the series.
In April 2022, Shearsmith once again co-wrote and starred in the seventh series of Inside No. 9. The series premiered on 20 April 2022. In May 2022, Shearsmith starred as Peter in The Unfriend, alongside Frances Barber and Amanda Abbington. The play was written by Steven Moffatt and directed by Mark Gatiss. The play transferred to the West End in 2023. In September 2022, Shearsmith starred in Tom George's film See How They Run, where he played British film producer John Woolf. On the Empire Podcast episode # 532, recorded on 10 September 2022, Shearsmith announced that he had filmed a part in Emerald Fennell's upcoming thriller film Saltburn, about an aristocratic English family.
Shearsmith and his wife, Jane, have two children.
|1995||P.R.O.B.E. – The Devil of Winterborne||Andrew Powell||Video|
|1996||P.R.O.B.E. – The Ghosts of Winterborne||Andrew Powell||Video short|
|1997||Auton||Dr Daniel Matthews||Video|
|1999||This Year's Love||Tourist|
|2004||Shaun of the Dead||Mark|
|2005||The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy||Additional Vogon voices|
|The League of Gentlemen's Apocalypse||Various||Also writer|
|2006||Free Jimmy||Ante (voice)||English dub|
|The League of Gentlemen Are Behind You!||Various||Video|
|2010||Burke and Hare||Sergeant Mackenzie|
|Good Boy||Underdog||Short film|
|2012||Him Indoors||Gregory Brewster||Short film|
|2013||A Field in England||Whitehead|
|The World's End||Collaborator|
|2017||Borley Rectory||V. C. Wall|
|2021||In the Earth||Zach|
|2021||Venom: Let There Be Carnage||Priest|
|2022||See How They Run||John Woolf|
|†||Denotes films that have not yet been released|
|1995||Alas Smith and Jones||Unknown|
|London's Burning||Martin||Episode #8.2|
|1996||Friday Night Armistice||Performer|
|Mash and Peas||Jerry Berkowi||Episode: "American Sitcoms"|
|1998||Lenny Goes to Town||Unknown||Episode: "Brighton"|
|Alexei Sayle's Merry-Go-Round||Phillip Arthurs||Episode #1.5|
|In the Red||Broadcast Journalist||3 episodes|
|1999–2002, 2017||The League of Gentlemen||Various||22 episodes; also writer|
|2000||Randall and Hopkirk (Deceased)||Helium Harry||Episode: "Two Can Play at That Game"|
|2002||TLC||Dr. Laurence Flynn||6 episodes|
|Robbie the Reindeer: Legend of the Lost Tribe||Viking (voice)||Television film|
|Monkey Trousers||Various||Television film|
|Max and Paddy's Road to Nowhere||Bobster||Episode #1.3|
|2007||The Abbey||Dr. Darren||Television film|
|Agatha Christie's Marple||Inspector Huish||Episode: "Ordeal by Innocence"|
|Comedy Showcase||Freddie||Episode: "Ladies and Gentlemen"|
|Christmas at the Riviera||Ashley||Television film|
|2008||New Tricks||Jeremy Kirk||Episode: "A Face for Radio"|
|Coming Up||Lickle Bill Um||Episode: "Lickle Bill Um"|
|2009||Would I Lie to You?||Himself||Episode #3.8|
|Mid Life Christmas||Vicar||Television film|
|2009–2011||Psychoville||Various||14 episodes; also writer|
|2010||The First Men in the Moon||Moon||Television film|
|The Bear||Luka||Television film|
|2011||Eric and Ernie||Harry Wiseman||Television film|
|2012||The Hollow Crown||Davy||Episode: "Henry IV, Part II"|
|Comedy Showcase||P.C. Bracket||Episode: "The Function Room"|
|Swiftcover SwiftBrothers advertising campaign||Voice actor|
|Comedy Showcase||Greg||Episode: "Bad Sugar"|
|Silent Night of the Living Dead||Actor|
|2012–2013||Horrible Histories||Hollywood Producer #1||10 episodes|
|2013||An Adventure in Space and Time||Patrick Troughton||Television film|
|2014||The Widower||Malcolm Webster||3 episodes|
|Chasing Shadows||DS Sean Stone||4 episodes|
|House of Fools||Martin / Santa||2 episodes|
|Dead Funny: Horror Stories by Comedians||Writer|
|2014–present||Inside No. 9||Various||Also writer and director; 45 episodes|
|2015||Peter Kay's Car Share||Ray the Fishmonger||Episode #1.3|
|Doctor Who||Gagan Rassmussen||Episode: "Sleep No More"|
|Hunderby||Pastor John||2 episodes|
|2016||Galavant||Neo of Sporin||Episode: "Love and Death"|
|Mid Morning Matters with Alan Partridge||Jasper Jones||Episode: "Jasper + Chef"|
|Diddy TV||Mr. Stockholm||4 episodes|
|2019||Good Omens||William Shakespeare
|Season 1: 1 episode
Season 2: 3 episodes
|2019-present||The Adventures of Paddington||Mr. Curry (voice)|
|2021||The Great British Bake Off For Stand Up To Cancer||Himself/contestant||Episode #4.3|
|2022||The Witchfinder||Matthew Hopkins||Series 1 Episode 6|
|2000||A Local Book For Local People||Writer|
|1997||On The Town With The League of Gentlemen||Writer/Actor|
|2012||Bird Island||Ben Jones|
- Robinson, Hannah (15 February 2018). "Reece Shearsmith 'thrilled' to be back with 'fellow Hullites'". HullLive. Retrieved 29 March 2022.
- Guardian Staff (10 February 2001). "Interview with The League of Gentlemen". The Guardian. Retrieved 29 March 2022.
- Bass, George (16 July 2015). "Catterick box set review: 'The most bonkers thing Reeves and Mortimer have ever done'". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 2 December 2016.
- "Culture". The Telegraph. 8 March 2017. Archived from the original on 18 December 2007.
- Dowell, Ben (9 October 2008). "League of Gentlemen duo back with BBC2 comedy Psychoville". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 5 February 2009.
- "TV Preview: Psychoville + panel discussion". British Film Institute. Archived from the original on 11 May 2009. Retrieved 15 May 2009.
- "Psychoville". BBC. Retrieved 21 May 2009.
- "New show for League of Gentlemen". BBC Online. 9 October 2008. Retrieved 5 February 2009.
- "Go Behind-the-Scenes of Transformers: Fall of Cybertron in Latest Video – Dread Central". 3 August 2012.
- "Reece Shearsmith in Ghost Stories from 9 Nov 2010". London Theatre Guide. Retrieved 2 December 2016.
- "Behind the scenes of 'Betty Blue Eyes'". The Telegraph. Retrieved 2 December 2016.
- Guide, British Comedy (22 July 2013). "Channel 4 confirm Bad Sugar series cancellation". British Comedy Guide. Retrieved 2 December 2016.
- "The Function Room – what time is it on TV? Episode 0 Series 0 cast list and preview". RadioTimes. Archived from the original on 3 December 2016. Retrieved 2 December 2016.
- "Doctor Who – Reece Shearsmith cast as Patrick Troughton". RadioTimes. Retrieved 2 December 2016.
- O’Neill, Phelim (31 July 2014). "Inside No 9: a gutsy dark comedy of misery and mayhem – box set review". The Guardian. Retrieved 21 October 2021.
- "The Widower, review: Reece Shearsmith is in a league of his own". The Independent. 18 March 2014. Retrieved 2 December 2016.
- "Chasing Shadows, ITV, episode 1, review". The Telegraph. Retrieved 2 December 2016.
- Jones, Ellen (4 September 2014). "Chasing Shadows, TV Review: Reece Shearsmith's awkward detective is just like Sherlock - only with none of the skilful writing". Independent. Retrieved 21 October 2021.
- "Reece Shearsmith Joins 'Doctor Who' Cast for Season 9". BBC America.
- "Episode 3, Peter Kay's Car Share – BBC One". BBC. Retrieved 2 December 2016.
- "Hunderby Specials". babycow.co.uk. Retrieved 2 December 2016.
- "Reece Shearsmith talks to Bob Mortimer, Series 10, Chain Reaction – BBC Radio 4". BBC. Retrieved 2 December 2016.
- "Reece Shearsmith cast in Hangmen at the Royal Court Theatre'". LondonTheatre1.com. 17 July 2017.
- "REVIEW: Alan Partridge's Mid Morning Matters S2 Ep4 – The Metropolist". The Metropolist. 10 March 2016. Retrieved 22 July 2018.
- ""It's a dark season" on Galavant, "and it's been all along"". 24 January 2016. Retrieved 22 July 2018.
- "Reece Shearsmith to appear at Latitude Festival". Giggle Beats. Retrieved 17 January 2017.
- Guide, British Comedy (30 October 2016). "Inside No. 9 returns at Christmas". British Comedy Guide. Retrieved 2 December 2016.
- "Borley Rectory: The Most Haunted House in England (2017) - EOFFTV - the Encyclopedia of Fantastic Film and Television".
- "'League of Gentlemen' revival and 'Alan Partridge' documentary among BBC highlights for Christmas 2017". NME. 28 November 2017. Retrieved 20 December 2017.
- Moreland, Alex (13 December 2017). "The League Of Gentlemen: everything you need to know about this cult comedy revival". Metro. Retrieved 21 October 2021.
- Wollaston, Sam (19 December 2017). "The League of Gentlemen review Royston Vasey: just as terrifying as ever". The Guardian. Retrieved 21 October 2021.
- "Top Comics Join Short Film". Chortle. 13 August 2018. Retrieved 14 August 2018.
- "Olivier Awards 2020 nominees include & Juliet, Dear Evan Hansen, James McAvoy and Andrew Scott". WhatsOnStage. Retrieved 3 March 2020.
- "A brand new batch of celeb bakers return to the tent". Stand Up To Cancer. 28 January 2021. Retrieved 25 February 2021.
- Morris, Lauren (1 June 2021). "Inside No. 9's Reece Shearsmith on his dream guest stars: "I think one of the Sirs or a Dame"". Radio Times. Retrieved 21 October 2021.
- "BAFTA TV 2021: The Winners and Nominations for the Virgin Media British Academy Television Awards and British Academy Television Craft Awards". 28 April 2021.
- Starkey, Adam (17 November 2021). "'Inside No. 9' stars Reece Shearsmith and Steve Pemberton to tour UK in December". NME. Retrieved 7 January 2022.
- "TV tonight: Diane Morgan crashes The League of Gentlemen cast reunion". The Guardian. 20 April 2022. Retrieved 20 April 2022.
- "Reece Shearsmith: 'I don't think I'm a comedian. I'm just an actor'". The Stage. Retrieved 18 March 2023.
- "The Unfriend to transfer to the West End | WhatsOnStage". www.whatsonstage.com. Retrieved 18 March 2023.
- Hewitt, Chris (16 September 2022). "'Empire Podcast # 532 — Reece Shearsmith". Empire. Retrieved 16 September 2022.
- Billington, Michael (9 February 2012). "Absent Friends – review". The Guardian. Retrieved 26 July 2020.