Flying a Light Aircraft with ...

A sketch from A Bit of Fry & Laurie

Hugh and Stephen are standing in front of a light aeroplane.

Hugh Hello and welcome to "Flying a Light Aeroplane Without Having Had Any Formal Instruction With ...". Today I'm going to be Flying A Light Aeroplane Without Having Had Any Formal Instruction With Sir Peter Winstanton, former Chairman of the National Trust, and now Maitre De Dense at the Galliard Ballet Company. Hello Sir Peter.

Stephen Good afternoon Johnny.

Hugh Mmm. My name isn't Johnny.

Stephen Never said it was.

Hugh Right now, Sir Peter, you've never flown an aeroplane before?

Stephen Never flown in my life, Johnny, no.

Hugh And you've never had any lessons?

Stephen Oh I've had lessons, maths, geography ...

Hugh But not in flying?

Stephen No.

Hugh And I've never flown before. Is this something you've always wanted to do?

Stephen Not particularly. So when you rang up I just leapt at the chance.

Hugh Right. Hugh and Stephen start to climb into the aeroplane. Now can I begin, Sir Peter, by asking you about your early influences. Your parents died when you were very young, and you were brought up by your aunt in a boarding house on the South Coast.

Stephen That's right, Johnny, yes. Did a lot of shrimping as a kid.

Hugh Shrimping?

Stephen You know, roll up your trousers, get out there with a net and a box of sandwiches, got to watch the tide though.

Hugh Have you?

Stephen Not now. When you're shrimping. Got to make sure you don't get caught out by the tide, because Johnny?

Hugh Yes?

Stephen It waits for no man ... hahahahaha. Stephen is now fiddling with the controls of the aeroplane. Now what do we do here?

Hugh I'm afraid I haven't the faintest idea.

Stephen Oh well, let's see.

Pushes and pulls at various levers.

Hugh So yours must have been rather a lonely upbringing.

Stephen Oh good heavens no.

Hugh Good heavens no?

Stephen Good heavens no. Very happy time. Got to know lots of people. It was a brothel, you see.

Hugh What was?

Stephen The boarding house that my aunt ran was, in fact, a brothel.

Hugh Really?

Stephen Lots of people coming in and out all hours of the day and night. It really was ... The engine suddenly fires and the propellor turns. Hello. That was a bit of luck.

Hugh Well done.

Stephen Ha. Something had to happen eventually.

Hugh But presumably you can't have got to know many people of your own age through the brothel?

Stephen Well no, but I became very friendly with members of the local council. The deputy chairman taught me to play bridge, as a matter of fact. He was a county player himself, and a marvellous teacher. He lets the brakes off and the aeroplane trundles forwards. Huh. Look out. Seems like we're off.

Hugh I really am very impressed by the way you're managing. Were you mechanically minded as a child?

Stephen Good God no. Couldn't open a tin of beans without an instruction book.

Hugh (Shouting back to camera) Next week, I shall be in an Intensive Care Unit With ... Peter Trenton, star of Home And Away. B'bye.

Vox Pop

Hugh Well they said Enoch Powell was mad, of course ... Oh look, there's John the Baptist floating upside down past Dewhurst's.

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