I am Cabin Pressure

Cabin Pressure

My lovely and esteemed wife has recently introduced me to the joys of Cabin Pressure, a Radio 4 comedy series set aboard the fictitious MJN (My Jet Now) Air, a tiny little outfit run by the crabby Carolyn Knapp-Shappey (Stephanie Cole from Waiting for God) that has only two pilots – the by-the-book captain Martin Crieff (Benedict Cumberbatch from Sherlock, Star Trek et al) and the ever-superior first officer Douglas Richardson (Roger Allam from The Thick Of It and Endeavour) – and an air steward, Cole’s simple but eternally upbeat son Arthur (John Finnemore, who also writes the show).

Featuring guest stars including John Sessions, Anthony Head (playing the fabulously named Hercules Shipwright), Prunella Scales and Alison Steadman, it’s an award-winning comedy with surprising depths that largely revolves around the games the pilots play to stave off boredom on long flights, the schemes they need to concoct to deal with difficult customers, mechanics and other airlines, and the tensions between Crieff and Richardson, Crieff always wanting to have been a pilot but having no real aptitude, while Richardson has never found anything hard but after a distinguished career, now finds himself first officer to Crieff at MJN thanks to his crossing certain legal lines at his previous job.

As well as being very funny, well written and well acted, it’s also capable of pathos and drama, so I recommend you catch up as best you can via Amazon, iTunes or other avenues.

The show is also a creator of some great memes. Here, for example, is the birth of the ‘Hey, Chief…’ meme, which my wife and I find a constant source of hilarity when we use it on each other (yes, we’re a fun pair):

If you’re a Cabin Pressure fan already, though, please enjoy the following encapsulation of a whole bunch of Cabin Pressure memes in a manner similar to the current Nikon ads. Do you recognise them all?


  • SK

    It took you this long? Yes, that dratted Finnemore is disgustingly talented. You should listen to his Souvenir Programme too.

    My personal favourite Cabin Pressure-in-real-life moment was the time at work I got to use the (almost) Douglas line, 'Do you remember that time you didn't know whether I knew about something or not, and it turned out I didn't?' and got precisely the right response.

  • “It took you this long?”

    I watch a lot of TV.

    “I… got precisely the right response.”

    Kudos and excellent! And I shall try to locate Souvenir Programme ASAP

  • Rullsenberg

    Well, agree with above. I know you watch a lot of TV but come on!!!! It is PURE genius. And heartwarming/heart-tugging too. Defy you not to listen to the last broadcast episode and not be going “ooooh! awh….” Love it. And the Souvenir Programme is brilliant as well. I think it was in the first episode where he does a sketch about someone wanting to grow up to work on Doctor Who. Brilliant.

  • Rullsenberg

    PS I know s4 isn't the last ever…

  • I don't listen to the radio. At all. Only the occasional radio-derived podcast.

  • Mark Carroll

    It's a remarkable show in, over the four seasons, not having a bad episode among them.

  • Rullsenberg

    Wow: not sure I could live without Radio. But then again, TV is your life… 🙂

  • Agreed!

  • Rullsenberg

    Feeling unwell I needed the little 'I am Cabin Pressure' to cheer me up. You've just identified what I need to help me feel better.

  • The otter content helps

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