Category Archives: Radio

Radio | Cabin Pressure

Image for Cabin Pressure

Image from http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00lmcxj and Content from Wikipedia

Cabin Pressure is a radio situation comedy series written by John Finnemore. Its first series was broadcast on BBC Radio 4 in 2008. The show follows the exploits of the oddball crew of the single aeroplane owned by “MJN Air” as they are chartered to take all manner of items, people or animals across the world. The show stars Stephanie Cole, Roger Allam, Benedict Cumberbatch and John Finnemore.

Critical reception to the series was positive and three series have currently been produced, the most recent broadcast in July, 2011, along with a special 2010 Christmas Day episode. Cabin Pressure will return for a fourth series in 2012. The theme tune of the series is the Overture to Ruslan and Lyudmila by Mikhail Glinka.

As part of her last divorce settlement, Carolyn Knapp-Shappey (Stephanie Cole) received a mid-size jet aeroplane named “Gertie” (a “Lockheed McDonnell 312”, registration G-ERTI). As a result, she founds her very own single plane charter airline, “MJN Air” (“My Jet Now”), which is crewed by an oddball mixture of characters who fly to various cities around the world, encountering a variety of odd situations.

The airline’s only Captain, Martin Crieff (Benedict Cumberbatch – except for series 3 episode 3, in which Tom Goodman-Hill stood in for Cumberbatch), has wanted to be a pilot since he was six years old (before which he wanted to be an aeroplane). He suffers, however, from a distinct lack of ability in that department. He was rejected by at least one flight school, and had to put himself through the required coursework, barely qualifying for his certification – on his seventh attempt. He took the job with MJN for no salary at all, as long as he could be Captain. He appears to have no outside interests beyond flying. He is a stickler for procedures and regulations, but is more prissy than pompous. At the end of series two he tells Douglas that he survives financially by running a delivery service using the van he inherited from his father (running two different jobs largely explaining the lack of hobbies). This was his only inheritance because his father believed he would waste any money he received trying to become a pilot.

First Officer Douglas Richardson (Roger Allam) is, on the other hand, a quite competent pilot who worked for Air England – until he was fired for smuggling. He chafes at his subordinate position to Martin, and misses no opportunity to flaunt his superiority in the younger pilot’s face. In later episodes, it is revealed that Douglas, ashamed of his second-rate job, dresses in Captain’s uniform for his wife Helena’s benefit, changing to First Officer’s uniform before he gets to work. Douglas is, however, something of a smooth operator who knows all of the dodges available to airline officers, and enjoys taking part in all of them.

Carolyn’s son Arthur (John Finnemore) is an eager dimwit aged 29, who is supposed to be the flight attendant but usually manages to get in everyone’s way. Arthur is a relentless optimist, whose biggest claim to fame is being the inventor (or at least discoverer) of fizzy yoghurt (the recipe for which is yoghurt plus time).

The cockpit crew frequently pass their time by engaging in word games, such as naming Brians [sic.] of Britain, making bets that Douglas always wins or playing ‘Simon says’. All crew members also make humorous cabin addresses, inserting e.g. limericks or titles of Hitchcock films, generally when there are no passengers on board.

British Celebrity Spotlight | Fearne Cotton

Fearne Cotton (born 3 September 1981) is an English television and radio presenter who is known for presenting a number of popular TV programmes such as Top of the Pops and the Red Nose Day telethon. In 2007, she became the first regular female presenter of BBC Radio 1’s Chart Show. She currently presents Radio 1’s weekday mid-morning programme, having replaced long-time host Jo Whiley, and is a team captain on the comedy panel show Celebrity Juice.

Cotton was born in Northwood, London to Lyn and Mick Cotton; she has a younger brother, Jamie. Her father was a signwriter for events such as Live Aid and her mother worked in alternative therapy. She grew up in Eastcote, Hillingdon and was educated at Haydon School. She is a pescatarian and an animal lover. She runs 5 km at least three times a week, and has participated in several half marathons for charity. Former BBC executive Bill Cotton (1928–2008) was her paternal grandfather’s cousin. He was the son of the well-known entertainer and band leader Billy Cotton.

She began her presenting career in 1998, at the age of 17, with early morning GMTV children’s programme The Disney Club, after she was discovered in a nationwide talent search during the show.

Cotton studied art at A level,a skill she made much use of whilst presenting the series Draw Your Own Toons. She also enjoys body art and claimed on Friday Night with Jonathan Ross that she has eleven tattoos over her body, the most notable of which is a fern leaf, covering her right hip up to her rib cage.

Cotton has been romantically linked to several celebrities including Lostprophets frontman Ian Watkins, Fame Academy‘s Peter Brame, and Channel 4 presenter Steve Jones. Her long-term, on-again-off-again boyfriendis skateboarder Jesse Jenkins; he proposed on her 29th birthday. The engagement was called off and the couple split 9 months later.Cotton is currently dating Jesse Wood, son of The Rolling Stones guitarist Ronnie Wood.

She is good friends with fellow TV presenter Holly Willoughby, with whom she has co-presented several shows.Cotton and Sarah Cawood acted as two of the bridesmaids at Willoughby’s wedding to Dan Baldwin on 4 August 2007.