Steve Pemberton: The League of Gentlemen and Inside No 9 have become cult hits

The television star and fund-raiser is the latest to feature in our series of 150 reasons to celebrate the town

By Jon Townend
Sunday, 13th June 2021, 1:30 pm
Updated Sunday, 13th June 2021, 1:38 pm
Steve Pemberton at an event for Derian House
Steve Pemberton at an event for Derian House

The Chorley Guardian is featuring 150 stories about Chorley: Inspirational people, places that we love, or special moments in the life of the borough.

It's a countdown to our 150th anniversary on November 4 and we’re celebrating the community we’re proud to be a part of.

Steve Pemberton co-founded the surreal comedy group the League of Gentlemen which became a cult hit.

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Steve Pemberton appeared on BBC game show Pointless with Michael Sheen, where he won and donated £2,500 to Derian House Children’s Hospic

What began as a stage show transferred to Radio 4 and then to BBC 2 television; a well-trodden path by comedy shows down the ages.

And Steve, who attended St Michael’s High School in Chorley, has put his fame to some excellent local use - raising money for Derian House.

On the Derian House website, Steve explains he grew up very close to where Derian House now stands and heard about the work it does.

He says: "I’m very proud to be able to support a local charity for local people!”

The Chorley Guardian is marking its 150th birthday this year with the Chorley 150 series of stories

Last year Steve, 53, handed over items from his private collection, including signed League of Gentlemen scripts and TV props.

And the keen quizzer hosted a live Facebook quiz for the hospice.

It was not his first foray into either Derian House fundraising or, indeed, quizzes.

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Steve Pemberton as one of the many character guises he has created

Steve explained: “I love doing quizzes and have raised over £60,000 for Derian House by playing shows such as The Chase, Celebrity Mastermind and Who Wants to Be a Millionaire."

Steve’s career started when he formed the surreal comedy group, the League of Gentlemen, with university pals, Reece Shearsmith, Mark Gatiss and Jeremy Dyson.

Steve went on to co-produce the BBC2 show Psychoville with Reece Shearsmith and together they have now created critically-acclaimed Inside No 9.

The show involves one-off 30-minute programmes that have ranged from comedy to horror.

Steve Pemberton in the series of Whitechapel

In this year’s BAFTA awards, Inside No 9 won the award for Best Scripted Comedy, beating Ghosts, Man Like Mobeen and This Country to the accolade.

When Pemberton and Reece were profiled on The South Bank Show in 2019, Steve said real life stories were an inspiration for their work.

He said: “You’ll find narrative in everything, and what we try to tap into is just serving that up to an audience who might be curious to see what happens next, and see if we can entertain them and inform them along the way."

The pair have said of Inside No 9: "Little did we know when we started Inside No. 9 in 2014 that we would end up with as many episodes of it as Countryfile.”

Steve has also starred in Benidorm, Whitechapel, Dr Who, Shameless and Happy Valley.

Chorley 150 countdown

Send in your suggestions for our stories to come in the next few months and let's celebrate 150 years together.

Whether its a person, a place, an event, a sporting moment email [email protected]

We'd love to hear from you.

Read more from our Chorley 150 countdown: