books, not a book

Not a Book: Cabin Pressure

I went to see John Finnemore try out new material this week for his current Radio Four show, and it reminded me that I haven’t written a proper post about Cabin Pressure, my favourite ever radio sitcom and surely one of the best of the last 20 years (at least). So today I’m righting that wrong.

Cabin Pressure follows the exploits of MJN Air, a charter plane company (“I don’t have an airline. I have one jet. You cannot put one jet in a line. If MJN is anything, it is an air dot.”) and its employees as they fly the world on Gertie (so named for her registration – G-ERTI) on an incredibly tight budget, taking any job to keep the business going. Four people work for the airline – Carolyn the owner and chief stewardess, First Officer Douglas Richardson, Captain Martin Crief and Carolyn’s son Arthur general dogsbody and steward.

The set up is great, the joke count is incredibly high and the cast is amazing – John Finnemore created and wrote it and plays Arthur, but Martin is Benedict Flipping Cumberbatch and Douglas is Roger Allam who has been in all sorts including Game of Thrones and the original Javert in Les Miserables. Oh and in the later series it has Anthony Stuart Head aka Giles from Buffy.

There are 27 episodes each named after a different city and taking you the whole way through the alphabet – the first episode is Abu Dhabi and the final two part special is Zurich (part one and two). I’ve got the giggles just thinking about my favourite bits just writing this post. As I mentioned a few years back in my audiobooks post, we have a habit of listening to these on long drives on holidays. Or at least we did before Him Indoors got into Amelia Peabody! Anyway when we drove past Ottery St Mary on our holiday last month all I needed to to was message my sister a picture of the road sign and the words Weasels King Henry and she replied Hedgehog O’Brien and sometimes all you need is some in-jokes and people to enjoy them with and listen to cabin pressure and you’ll understand too. Last time we were down there we stopped there just so I could have my picture taken with the sign:

And now I’m making about as much sense as Arthur when he’s trying to describe his dad so I should probably stop and tell you that you can get Cabin Pressure on Audible and other audiobook platforms and it’s really worth it. Even the audible sample is funny.

Have a great Sunday.

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