Saturday Selections: Cabin Pressure

I’ve decided to add a new feature to this blog to….

  1. give me something new to write about besides my writing life
  2. share with you what I enjoy (you know, the personal touch and all that)
  3. to spread the word about some wonderful “discoveries”
  4. and, of course, to shamelessly drive traffic to my blog (hey, at least I’m honest)

The feature is called “Saturday” and will highlight one of the books, movies, radio programs, etc. that have been tickling my fancy over the week. And, as you might guess, the feature will appear on Saturday.

So, let’s get started with Cabin Pressure!

Cabin Pressure

Now, I have to admit, I only first tuned into Cabin Pressure because a certain actor whose name rhymes with Lemondict Slumberbatch is one of the stars. However, turns out, the show is wildly funny in only the way the British can achieve and I would still tune in even if that certain actor weren’t part of the program.

Cabin Pressure is radio show on BBC Radio 4 (yes, it’s the first time I’ve ever listened to a radio sitcom – I didn’t even know such things existed after 1959). The premise is a small, very small, airline trying to make their flights despite all the mayhem caused by a slightly off-kilter cabin crew. The interplay between the unpaid-rule-abiding pilot Martin Crieff (Benedict Cumberbatch) and the never-met-a-rule-he-couldn’t-ignore Douglas (Richard Allam) is terrific.

In addition to the pilots, is the airline’s owner, Caroline Knapp-Schappy (Stephanie Cole, or Auntie Joan from Doc Martin as you may know her) who never really wanted an airline but was thrilled to take her husband’s plane in the divorce settlement. And hence, the name of the airline: MJN – My Jet Now. The final member of the crew is Arthur, Caroline’s entertainingly-dim son, played by the show’s writer, John Finnemore.

Troubles range from tricking a passenger into thinking Sicily is actually Timbuktu to the transport of stuffed sheep (a present for a man who is deadly afraid of sheep) topped off with word games Martin never wins and missing bottles of expensive whiskey that somehow always end up in Douglas’s hands.

If you don’t live in the UK, you can listen to episodes of Cabin Pressure online at BBC Radio 4 Extra. The show ended earlier this year, but older episodes are available each week. You can also buy the episodes on iTunes.

And just remember, “The lemon is in play.” (Anyone who’s heard the “Qikiqtarjuaq” episode will now what I mean…and will be giggling right now.)

What do you think of this new feature? Are you already a Cabin Pressure fan? I’d love to hear from you, so please leave a comment.

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