Benedict Cumberbatch ready to make more of Radio 4’s Cabin Pressure: “I miss it”

"It was such good fun," says the star of the cult comedy about a one-plane airline

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He may be one of the most in-demand stars in Hollywood, but Benedict Cumberbatch says he’d happily make time in his schedule for more of Radio 4’s cult airline comedy Cabin Pressure.

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“It was really good fun… I miss it,” Cumberbatch told an audience at the London Film and Comic Con, suggesting that the show’s quick turnaround time would make it relatively easy to squeeze in to his diary.

“I had great fun working on that,” he said. “We’d come in on the day – it was all a day’s work, the whole thing – we’d probably get the script a week before but I don’t think, other than [co-star] Roger [Allam], any of us had really ever read it properly until we were all sat round the table together. 

“So the first time was usuallly a blind read, getting use to it, the second time we’d be standing up in front of mics without anyone there to record, just on our own… we’d have a lunch break, talk about our scenes, make some changes… and then we’d do it.

“And it was such good fun, really good fun. There was never an episode that I didn’t enjoy… and that rapport you build with the audience is brilliant, you can’t beat that. But to do it all from reading to rehearsals to performance – in one afternoon sometimes, never mind a day – was great and I miss it.”

Cabin Pressure followed the exploits of miniscule airline MJN Air and the often left-field charters of its one and only aeroplane, captained by Cumberbatch’s Martin Crieff and a crew and staff including Roger Allam, Stephanie Cole and writer Finnemore.

It ran for four series and two specials, with the destination in each episode beginning with the next letter of the alphabet, from A to Z, and drew a dedicated following among Radio 4 listeners.

“If John Finnemore was up for it,” said Cumberbatch, “we could always start the alphabet again…”

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Benedict Cumberbatch was speaking at the London Film and Comic Con