BBC Radio 4
BBC Radio 4 is a radio station owned and operated by the British Broadcasting Corporation that broadcasts a wide variety of spoken-word programmes including news, comedy and history. It replaced the BBC Home Service in 1967; the station controller is Gwyneth Williams, the station is part of BBC Radio and the BBC Radio department. The station is broadcast from the BBC's headquarters at London. On 21 January 2019 Williams announced. There are no details of when, it is the second most popular domestic radio station in the UK, broadcast throughout the UK, the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands on FM, LW and DAB, can be received in eastern and south eastern counties of Ireland, the north of France and Northern Europe. It is available through Freeview, Virgin Media and on the Internet, its sister station, BBC Radio 4 Extra, complements the main channel by broadcasting repeats from the Radio 4 archive, extended versions of Radio 4 programmes and supplements to series such as The Archers and Desert Island Discs.
It is notable for its news bulletins and programmes such as Today and The World at One, heralded on air by the Greenwich Time Signal "pips" or the chimes of Big Ben. Radio 4 broadcasts the Shipping Forecast, which reached 150 years old in August 2017; the pips are only accurate on FM, LW, MW as there is a delay on DAB and digital radio of 3 to 5 seconds longer online. BBC Radio 4 is the second most popular British domestic radio station by total hours, after Radio 2 – and the most popular in London and the South of England, it recorded its highest audience, of 11 million listeners, in May 2011 and was "UK Radio Station of the Year" at the 2003, 2004 and 2008 Sony Radio Academy Awards. It won a Peabody Award in 2002 for File On 4: Export Controls. Costing £71.4 million, it is the BBC's most expensive national radio network and is considered by many to be its flagship. There is no comparable British commercial network: Channel 4 abandoned plans to launch its own speech-based digital radio station in October 2008 as part of a £100m cost cutting review.
In 2010 Gwyneth Williams replaced Mark Damazer as Radio 4 controller. Damazer became Master of Oxford. Music and sport are the only fields that fall outside the station's remit, it broadcasts occasional concerts, documentaries related to various forms of both popular and classical music, the long-running music-based Desert Island Discs. Prior to the creation of BBC Radio 5 it broadcast sports-based features, notably Sport on Four, since the creation of BBC Radio 5 Live has become the home of ball-by-ball commentaries of most Test cricket matches played by England, broadcast on long wave; as a result, for around 70 days a year listeners have to rely on FM broadcasts or DAB for mainstream Radio 4 broadcasts – the number relying on long wave is now a small minority. The cricket broadcasts take precedence over on-the-hour news bulletins, but not the Shipping Forecast, carried since its move to long wave in 1978 because that can be received at sea; the station is the UK's national broadcaster in times of national emergency such as war, due to the wide coverage of the Droitwich signal: if all other radio stations were forced to close, it would carry on broadcasting.
It has been claimed that the commanders of nuclear-armed submarines believing that Britain had suffered nuclear attack were required to check if they could still receive Radio 4 on 198 long wave, if they could not they would open sealed orders that might authorise a retaliatory strike. As well as news and drama, the station has a strong reputation for comedy, including experimental and alternative comedy, many successful comedians and comedy shows first appearing on the station. Following the six o'clock news from Monday to Friday, the station broadcasts a thirty-minute comedy programme; the station is available on FM in parts of Ireland and the north of France. Freesat and Virgin have a separate channel which broadcasts the Radio 4 LW output in mono, in addition to the FM output; the BBC Home Service was the predecessor of Radio 4 and broadcast between 1939 and 1967. It had regional variations and was broadcast on medium wave with a network of VHF FM transmitters being added from 1955. Radio 4 replaced it on 30 September 1967, when the BBC renamed many of its domestic radio stations, in response to the challenge of offshore radio.
It moved to long wave in November 1978, taking over the 200 kHz frequency held by Radio 2, moved to 198 kHz as a result of international agreements aimed at avoiding interference and to mark the station becoming a national service for the first time the station became known as Radio 4 UK, a title that remained until mid 1984. For a time during the 1970s Radio 4 carried regional news bulletins Monday to Saturday; these were broadcast twice at breakfast, at lunchtime and an evening bulletin was aired at 5.55pm. There were programme variations for the parts of England not served by BBC Local Radio stations; these included Roundabout East Anglia, a VHF opt-out of the Today programme broadcast from BBC East's studios in Norwich each weekday from 6.45 am to 8.45 am. Roundabout East Anglia came to an end in mid-1980, when local radio services were introduced to East Anglia with the launch of BBC Radio Norfolk. All regional news bulletins broadcast
Etymology is the study of the history of words. By extension, the term "the etymology" means the origin of the particular word and for place names, there is a specific term, toponymy. For Greek—with a long written history—etymologists make use of texts, texts about the language, to gather knowledge about how words were used during earlier periods and when they entered the language. Etymologists apply the methods of comparative linguistics to reconstruct information about languages that are too old for any direct information to be available. By analyzing related languages with a technique known as the comparative method, linguists can make inferences about their shared parent language and its vocabulary. In this way, word roots have been found that can be traced all the way back to the origin of, for instance, the Indo-European language family. Though etymological research grew from the philological tradition, much current etymological research is done on language families where little or no early documentation is available, such as Uralic and Austronesian.
The word etymology derives from the Greek word ἐτυμολογία, itself from ἔτυμον, meaning "true sense", the suffix -logia, denoting "the study of". In linguistics, the term etymon refers to a word or morpheme from which a word derives. For example, the Latin word candidus, which means "white", is the etymon of English candid. Etymologists apply a number of methods to study the origins of words, some of which are: Philological research. Changes in the form and meaning of the word can be traced with the aid of older texts, if such are available. Making use of dialectological data; the form or meaning of the word might show variations between dialects, which may yield clues about its earlier history. The comparative method. By a systematic comparison of related languages, etymologists may be able to detect which words derive from their common ancestor language and which were instead borrowed from another language; the study of semantic change. Etymologists must make hypotheses about changes in the meaning of particular words.
Such hypotheses are tested against the general knowledge of semantic shifts. For example, the assumption of a particular change of meaning may be substantiated by showing that the same type of change has occurred in other languages as well. Etymological theory recognizes that words originate through a limited number of basic mechanisms, the most important of which are language change, borrowing. While the origin of newly emerged words is more or less transparent, it tends to become obscured through time due to sound change or semantic change. Due to sound change, it is not obvious that the English word set is related to the word sit, it is less obvious that bless is related to blood. Semantic change may occur. For example, the English word bead meant "prayer", it acquired its modern meaning through the practice of counting the recitation of prayers by using beads. English derives from Old English, a West Germanic variety, although its current vocabulary includes words from many languages; the Old English roots may be seen in the similarity of numbers in English and German seven/sieben, eight/acht, nine/neun, ten/zehn.
Pronouns are cognate: I/mine/me and ich/mein/mich. However, language change has eroded many grammatical elements, such as the noun case system, simplified in modern English, certain elements of vocabulary, some of which are borrowed from French. Although many of the words in the English lexicon come from Romance languages, most of the common words used in English are of Germanic origin; when the Normans conquered England in 1066, they brought their Norman language with them. During the Anglo-Norman period, which united insular and continental territories, the ruling class spoke Anglo-Norman, while the peasants spoke the vernacular English of the time. Anglo-Norman was the conduit for the introduction of French into England, aided by the circulation of Langue d'oïl literature from France; this led to many paired words of English origin. For example, beef is related, through borrowing, to modern French bœuf, veal to veau, pork to porc, poultry to poulet. All these words and English, refer to the meat rather than to the animal.
Words that refer to farm animals, on the other hand, tend to be cognates of words in other Germanic languages. For example, swine/Schwein, cow/Kuh, calf/Kalb, sheep/Schaf; the variant usage has been explained by the proposition that it was the Norman rulers who ate meat and the Anglo-Saxons who farmed the animals. This explanation has been disputed. English has proved accommodating to words from many languages. Scientific terminology, for example, relies on words of Latin and Greek origin, but there are a great many non-scientific examples. Spanish has contributed many words in the southwestern United States. Examples include buckaroo, rodeo and states' names such as Colorado and Florida. Albino, lingo and coconut from Portuguese. Modern French has contributed café, naive and many more. Smorgasbord, slalom
Count Arthur Strong's Radio Show!
Count Arthur Strong's Radio Show! is a sitcom broadcast on BBC Radio 4, written by Steve Delaney. It features Count Arthur Strong, a former variety star who has malapropisms, memory loss and other similar problems, played by Delaney; each episode follows the Count in his daily business and causing confusion in every situation. First broadcast on 23 December 2005, Count Arthur Strong's Radio Show! has had eight series and four specials. In 2009 the show won the Gold Sony Radio Academy Award for comedy, the highest honour for a British radio comedy. A television adaptation, Count Arthur Strong, premiered on BBC Two in July 2013; the first three series of the show were recorded live at Komedia in Brighton. The fourth series was recorded at the Dancehouse Theatre, Komedia Bath and Komedia Brighton. A special was recorded in Edinburgh during the 2008 Edinburgh Festival Fringe, it is jointly made by two production companies: Smooth Operations. Count Arthur Strong is a former variety star living in the North of England.
The Count, now in his old age, has delusions of grandeur. He has selective memory loss, never hearing what he doesn't want to and malapropism-itis, which result in his confusing anyone he happens to be talking to and confusing himself. However, he more than not blames the people he is talking to for causing the confusion in the first place. A typical conversation for the Count will involve his confusing both himself and others, while becoming drastically sidetracked from the matter in hand, he is oblivious to the chaos he causes blaming his interlocutors for any confusion. On the rare occasions he realises he is at fault, he attempts to divert the blame by lying. Becoming confused by his own lies, his last resort is to claim he was recording a stunt for a hidden camera show; the Count does rarely encounter frustrating situations which are not his fault such as doing a cooking show and only being brought products that were prepared in packets however he tends to complain in these circumstances before making matters worse than they were to start with He has a misguided belief in his ability to hold his drink, has performed on stage or live TV/radio when drunk.
He will go to great lengths to get as drunk as he can as cheaply as he can. The list of TV shows in which Count Arthur claims to have appeared is remarkably similar to Delaney's own career. However, the one role that Count Arthur speaks about wherever possible, is what he calls the "Bridge Up The River Kwai", where he claims to have appeared alongside Alec Guinness resenting the fact that Guinness got the part instead of him, although he does point out that he took over the role for the musical version, he seems resentful that Sean Connery beat him to the lead role in Doctor No, the title of which he confuses with either Doctor Who or Doctor Dolittle. He has had roles, or at least sat in a car, in numerous TV series and films, such as Juliet Bravo and of course "The Man Who Had Some Shoes." The Count believes himself to be an expert on Egyptology, leading to the show "Count Arthur Strong's Forgotten Egypt". This stems from his army days when he toured Egypt as part of the cast of what he calls Piddler On The Roof.
He claims to have many show business friends although, apart from Guinness, this seems limited to brief conversations with Anita Harris and Jimmy Clitheroe. He appears to have a mixed relationship with Edward Woodward. While resenting Woodward's success, he claims that his advice meant that "for the first time in years, Edward Woodward can cross his legs when he sits down". Woodward's name causes the Count many problems, calling him "Edward Woodwardward", "Edward Woodwind", "Edward Woodbine", "Wedward Goodwood" etc. In some of his stage shows, in an episode per radio series, the Count has been joined by his protégé, Malcolm Titter. Malcolm is a budding actor and playwright, goes to the Count for acting lessons; the result is. Other than Count Arthur, there are other regular characters in the series played by Alastair Kerr, Dave Mounfield, Joanna Neary, Sue Perkins and Mel Giedroyc; these characters include Arthur's butcher Wilf Taylor. Other guest appearances have been made by Barry Cryer, a showbiz colleague of Arthur's, Kate Van Dike played the dying mother of Arthur in The Musical in series 5 and the stage show of the same name, Martin Marquez in shows 4 and 5 of series 7, Peter Serafinowicz who appears in series 7, Episode 1:'The Minx' voicing Terry Wogan.
Episode information from BBC website, Episodes On 11 June 2011, the relaunched radio station BBC Radio 4 Extra broadcast a three-hour special, Extra Strong - Count Arthur Speaks! Mint Extracts, embodying classic episodes of the first six series linked by exclusive new material featuring the Count in conversation with the show's producer Mark Radcliffe, it has since been repeated several times. The character of Count Arthur Strong was rebooted by Steve Delaney and a new co-writer Graham Linehan with the 2013 BBC sitcom Count Arthur Strong, broadcast for six half-hour weekly episodes from 8 July 2013; the television project heralds a new chapter in the life of Count Arthur Strong. None of the supporting characters from the radio programme are featured, although subtle
The Lord of the Rings (1981 radio series)
In 1981 BBC Radio 4 produced a dramatisation of J. R. R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings in 26 half-hour stereo installments; the novel had been adapted as a 12-part BBC Radio adaptation in 1955 and 1956, a 1979 production by The Mind's Eye for National Public Radio in the USA. Like the novel on which it is based, The Lord of the Rings is the story of an epic struggle between the Dark Lord Sauron of Mordor, the primary villain of the work, an alliance of heroes who join forces to save the world from falling under his shadow; the serial was broadcast from 8 March to 30 August 1981 on BBC Radio 4 on Sundays from 12 Noon to 12:30pm. Each episode was repeated on the following Wednesday from 10:30pm to 11:00pm; the first broadcast of Episode 2 was blacked out across a large part of southeast England because of a transmitter failure. The series was broadcast in Canada on CBC AM in the summer of 1982. In the US it was on NPR with a new synopsis preceding each episode, narrated by Tammy Grimes, it was aired in Australia.
A soundtrack album featuring a re-recorded and in some cases expanded, suite of Stephen Oliver's music was released in 1981. The 26-part series was subsequently edited into 13 hour-long episodes broadcast from 17 July to 9 October 1982, restoring some dialogue cut for timing, rearranging some scenes for dramatic impact and adding linking narration and music cues. So, a small amount of material was lost, notably a minute long scene featuring Gandalf and Pippin on Shadowfax discussing the beacon fires of Gondor; this material was not restored to the 2002 re-edited CD version. The re-edited version was released on both cassette tape and CD sets which included the soundtrack album. Incidentally, episode 8 of the series, The Voice of Saruman was labelled as The Voice of Sauron on the cassette & CD box sets; the script by Brian Sibley and Michael Bakewell attempts to be as faithful as possible to the original novel, but there are some errors and alterations. They include: At one point, Minas Anor and Minas Tirith are referred to as though they were separate cities, but Minas Anor is the original name for Minas Tirith.
This was when Pippin were discussing the palantír whilst en route to Minas Tirith. The radio serial omits the sequence in the book. Gandalf refers to the Balrog of Moria as a servant of Sauron. In the novel, the Balrog was a servant of Sauron's former master Morgoth, but was freed from any kind of service and fled into the earth upon Morgoth's defeat during the War of Wrath in The Silmarillion. In fact Balrogs and Sauron are of the Maiar. Isengard is referred to as a "fair city", "circular" and "filled with fair trees" which Saruman brought to ruin with the exception of the singular great tower/citadel of Orthanc in the center. In Tolkien's writings there has never been an actual city called Isengard, only the lush greenery and the Tower of Orthanc which together are called Isengard; the story includes an arc. This only appears in not The Lord of the Rings. In the final episode, Bilbo's Last Song, a Tolkien poem which does not appear in the novel is used to flesh out the sequence at the Grey Havens.
Peter Woodthorpe and Michael Graham Cox voiced the same roles in Ralph Bakshi's animated version. Ian Holm, who voiced Frodo Baggins in the radio serial, went on to play Bilbo Baggins in Peter Jackson's movie trilogy. In 2002, following the success of Jackson's movies, the BBC reissued the series in three sets corresponding to the three original volumes; this version omitted the original episode divisions, included a new opening and closing narration for the first two sets, an opening narration only for the last, written by Sibley and performed by Ian Holm as Frodo Baggins - Frodo's narrations deal with his efforts to write his historical account of the War of the Ring in the Red Book, as well as his own personal reflections and musings on the story's events. The re-edited version included some additional music cues, which had to be taken from the soundtrack album because the original master tapes for the series music had been lost; the soundtrack, now digitally remastered, was included with The Return of the King set, with a demo of John Le Mesurier singing Bilbo's Last Song included as a bonus track.
The 13-episode series was rerun on Radio 4 in 2002. The series has not been heard on the digital BBC archive station BBC Radio 4 Extra, despite frequent requests because of copyright issues. Narrator: Gerard Murphy Narrator: Tammy Grimes Frodo Baggins: Ian Holm Gandalf the Grey/Gandalf the White: Michael Hordern Aragorn: Robert Stephens Sam Gamgee: Bill Nighy Meriadoc Brandybuck: Richard O'Callaghan Peregrin Took: John McAndrew Legolas: David Collings Gimli: Douglas Livingstone Boromir: Michael Graham Cox Galadriel: Marian Diamond Celeborn: Simon Cadell Arwen Evenstar: Sonia Fraser Saruman the White: Peter Howell Elrond: Hugh Dickson Bilbo Baggins: John Le Mesurier Gollum/Sméagol: Peter Woodthorpe Théoden: Jack May Gríma Wormtongue: Paul Brooke Éowyn: Elin Jenkins Éomer: Anthony Hyde Faramir: Andrew Seear Treebeard: Stephen Thorne Denethor: Peter Vaughan Lord of the Nazgûl: Philip Voss The Mouth of Sauron: John Rye Glorfindel/An Elf lord of th
Poetry is a form of literature that uses aesthetic and rhythmic qualities of language—such as phonaesthetics, sound symbolism, metre—to evoke meanings in addition to, or in place of, the prosaic ostensible meaning. Poetry has a long history, dating back to prehistorical times with the creation of hunting poetry in Africa, panegyric and elegiac court poetry was developed extensively throughout the history of the empires of the Nile and Volta river valleys; some of the earliest written poetry in Africa can be found among the Pyramid Texts written during the 25th century BCE, while the Epic of Sundiata is one of the most well-known examples of griot court poetry. The earliest Western Asian epic poetry, the Epic of Gilgamesh, was written in Sumerian. Early poems in the Eurasian continent evolved from folk songs such as the Chinese Shijing, or from a need to retell oral epics, as with the Sanskrit Vedas, Zoroastrian Gathas, the Homeric epics, the Iliad and the Odyssey. Ancient Greek attempts to define poetry, such as Aristotle's Poetics, focused on the uses of speech in rhetoric, drama and comedy.
Attempts concentrated on features such as repetition, verse form and rhyme, emphasized the aesthetics which distinguish poetry from more objectively informative, prosaic forms of writing. Poetry uses forms and conventions to suggest differential interpretation to words, or to evoke emotive responses. Devices such as assonance, alliteration and rhythm are sometimes used to achieve musical or incantatory effects; the use of ambiguity, symbolism and other stylistic elements of poetic diction leaves a poem open to multiple interpretations. Figures of speech such as metaphor and metonymy create a resonance between otherwise disparate images—a layering of meanings, forming connections not perceived. Kindred forms of resonance may exist, between individual verses, in their patterns of rhyme or rhythm; some poetry types are specific to particular cultures and genres and respond to characteristics of the language in which the poet writes. Readers accustomed to identifying poetry with Dante, Goethe and Rumi may think of it as written in lines based on rhyme and regular meter.
Much modern poetry reflects a critique of poetic tradition, playing with and testing, among other things, the principle of euphony itself, sometimes altogether forgoing rhyme or set rhythm. In today's globalized world, poets adapt forms and techniques from diverse cultures and languages; some scholars believe. Others, suggest that poetry did not predate writing; the oldest surviving epic poem, the Epic of Gilgamesh, comes from the 3rd millennium BCE in Sumer, was written in cuneiform script on clay tablets and on papyrus. A tablet dating to c. 2000 BCE describes an annual rite in which the king symbolically married and mated with the goddess Inanna to ensure fertility and prosperity. An example of Egyptian epic poetry is The Story of Sinuhe. Other ancient epic poetry includes the Iliad and the Odyssey. Epic poetry, including the Odyssey, the Gathas, the Indian Vedas, appears to have been composed in poetic form as an aid to memorization and oral transmission, in prehistoric and ancient societies.
Other forms of poetry developed directly from folk songs. The earliest entries in the oldest extant collection of Chinese poetry, the Shijing, were lyrics; the efforts of ancient thinkers to determine what makes poetry distinctive as a form, what distinguishes good poetry from bad, resulted in "poetics"—the study of the aesthetics of poetry. Some ancient societies, such as China's through her Shijing, developed canons of poetic works that had ritual as well as aesthetic importance. More thinkers have struggled to find a definition that could encompass formal differences as great as those between Chaucer's Canterbury Tales and Matsuo Bashō's Oku no Hosomichi, as well as differences in content spanning Tanakh religious poetry, love poetry, rap. Classical thinkers employed classification as a way to assess the quality of poetry. Notably, the existing fragments of Aristotle's Poetics describe three genres of poetry—the epic, the comic, the tragic—and develop rules to distinguish the highest-quality poetry in each genre, based on the underlying purposes of the genre.
Aestheticians identified three major genres: epic poetry, lyric poetry, dramatic poetry, treating comedy and tragedy as subgenres of dramatic poetry. Aristotle's work was influential throughout the Middle East during the Islamic Golden Age, as well as in Europe during the Renaissance. Poets and aestheticians distinguished poetry from, defined it in opposition to prose, understood as writing with a proclivity to logical explication and a linear narrative structure; this does not imply that poetry is illogical or lacks narration, but rather that poetry is an attempt to render the beautiful or sublime without the burden of engaging the logical or narrative thought process. English Romantic poet John Keats termed this escape from logic "Negative Capability"; this "romantic" approach views form as a key element of successful poetry because form is abstract and distinct from the underlying notional logic. This approach remained influential into t
Cabin Pressure (radio series)
Cabin Pressure is a radio sitcom written and created by John Finnemore and directed and produced by David Tyler. It follows the exploits of the eccentric 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 and Benedict Cumberbatch. The series was first broadcast on BBC Radio 4 in 2008. Critical reception to the series was positive and four series have been broadcast, along with a special 2010 Christmas Day episode; the fourth series consisting of six episodes was broadcast in January and February 2013. The show's finale, entitled "Zurich", was broadcast as a two-part special on 23 and 24 December 2014; the series' opening music is Mikhail Glinka's Overture to Lyudmila. The story takes place at MJN Air, the world's smallest airline, consisting of just one 16-seater plane: a "Lockheed McDonnell 312", registration Golf Echo Romeo Tango India, thus nicknamed "Gerti"; the company name derives from when owner Carolyn Knapp-Shappey was awarded Gerti as part of her divorce settlement with her awful Australian husband Gordon Shappey and thus proudly proclaimed that Gerti was: "My Jet Now".
The company is so small, with Carolyn joking that rather than an airline MJN is more of an "airdot" than an "airline", that everything is run on a tight budget and they are willing to take on any job to keep the business going. The company is based in the fictional Fitton Airport, located somewhere in the Midlands; each episode is named after a different city each beginning with successive letters of the alphabet. The episodes were not broadcast in alphabetical order, but The Complete Cabin Pressure: From A to Z collection does play the episodes alphabetically; the story follows the day-to-day working life of MJN Air and its crew of four: Carolyn, the owner and stewardess. Much of the plot revolves around the relationship between Martin. While Martin is the captain, Douglas is more experienced, most people consider Douglas to be superior to him in every way; when meeting both men most guests mistakenly believe Douglas to be the captain rather than Martin. Carolyn refers to Douglas as the "good pilot" and Martin as the "safe pilot".
While Douglas gets paid, Martin does not because Carolyn cannot afford it. Thus Martin has a second job with his own business, Icarus Removals, using a van he inherited from his late father, lives a life of poverty. Douglas, has to do his job in order to pay two different alimonies, tries to keep secret from his third wife Helena that he is not a captain, it is revealed that Helena is having an affair. Douglas is a recovering alcoholic, having been sober for a period of several years at the time the story begins, although he tries to prevent anyone else from knowing about it, fearing it will tarnish his image. Much of the time spent on the flight-deck is spent with the crew playing various games to pass the time such as "People Who Aren't Evil But Have Evil Sounding Names", "Brians of Britain", "Books That Sound More Interesting with the Final Letter Knocked Off" and "The Travelling Lemon", in which the crew try to hide a lemon in plain sight of the passengers without anyone complaining; this is the origin of the phrase "The lemon is in play," used by Douglas in the episodes Qikiqtarjuaq and Zurich Part 2.
Though MJN squabble among themselves, in several episodes the crew unite to combat a common enemy or problem. A recurring antagonist is Gordon Shappey, Carolyn's ex-husband and Arthur's father, who resents Carolyn obtaining the jet in the divorce and tries to reacquire it through fair means and foul. Other recurring characters include Mr Birling, who every year hires the plane to take him to see the final match in the Six Nations Rugby Union tournament. On "Birling Day", the crew toady to Birling in the hope; every Birling Day Douglas attempts to steal Birling's whisky and sell it on while Carolyn and the rest of the crew try to stop him. Another recurring character is Captain Hercules "Herc" Shipwright, a former colleague of Douglas who now works at Scottish airline Air Caledonia. Herc is an occasional rival to Douglas and a love interest to Carolyn, though she is reluctant to reciprocate Herc's affections. Princess Theresa of Liechtenstein appears in the final season, first appearing when she hires MJN to take her younger brother and ruling monarch King Maxi to Fitton so he can return to school.
She and Martin begin a romantic relationship. In the two-part series finale Martin is given a paid job at Swiss Air, which means MJN has to close down and Gerti has to be sold. However, when Gordon tries to purchase Gerti, Arthur puts in a gigantic bid to stop his father from buying the plane. Douglas suspects that there is something valuable hidden on the plane and MJN manage to buy back Gerti, his suspicions prove correct when he discovers that Gordon had replaced the wiring of the plane with gold, not expecting that Carolyn would get the plane in their divorce. Martin concludes he is more skilled pilot than he thought, having been struggling in the past years with a poorly weighted plane, the solution to Carolyn's financial problems has been right under her nose all along