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Recording Cabin Pressure Series 4 Episodes 1 & 2 – Spoiler Free Report * 03 December 2012

Cabin Pressure

Following the crew of the one-plane airline MJN Air, Cabin Pressure, the radio comedy beloved for its farcical narratives and quick witted one-liners is returning for a fourth series on BBC Radio 4 in January 2013. Three recordings in front of a live audience started on December 2 2012, and we were lucky enough to be among those in attendance at this first day of production, receiving tickets from the BBC's draw from over 17,000 submissions.

Arriving a couple of hours before entry to RADA Studios was permitted, we were eventually shuttled inside. After choosing seats in the studio itself, introductions were made and the recording itself began. Having never had the chance to attend a radio recording before, it was a slightly surreal but hugely enjoyable experience, with the full regular cast of Benedict Cumberbatch, Roger Allam, Stephanie Cole, and John Finnemore and the guests for each episode blazing through each half hour story, with atmospherics and sound effects piped into the studio from a sound booth. That's not to say it was perfect first time - throughout the cast were occasionally reduced to helpless giggles, leading to huge laughter and applause from us in the audience.

Avoiding spoilers from the episodes themselves, which both feature the expected mix of a simple narrative start before winding through an ever more convoluted series of unfortunate events, the sense of enjoyment from the cast was infectious throughout the afternoon, with highlights including John Finnemore pretending to be clueless as to what Benedict Cumberbatch has been doing with himself, quipping that he was taking work as a stuntman these days, "falling off roofs...";  the show's producer David Tyler remarking "Not quite as funny as playing golf in period costume" in reference to Parade's End when Roger Allam joined Benedict in re-recording a small sequence;  John Finnemore fluffing up his second line in an episode and then coming back with "and it's only my second line" to which Benedict added, "But not his second drink"; and Benedict's ferociously speedy - and thus multiple - attempts to close out the end credits of Episode 2, while faced with many names and a looming deadline to catch a real plane to Tokyo. After around three hours, recording on both episodes was complete and we left feeling hugely entertained.

All we can say to close is make sure to catch the new fourth series of Cabin Pressure on BBC Radio 4 from Wednesday January 9 2013 [Time TBC], and if you have received tickets in the draw for the next set of recordings on December 16 2012 and January 6 2013... enjoy!