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Airport (TV series)

Airport
Airport title card from Season 8
Narrated by John Nettles (1996–2005)
Liza Tarbuck (2005)
Robert Webb (2008)
Country of origin United Kingdom
No. of series 11
No. of episodes 96 (+ 7 specials)
Production
Running time 30 minutes
Release
Original channel BBC Two (1996, 2008)
BBC One (1997–2005)
Picture format 4:3 (1996–1998)
16:9 (1999–2005, 2008)
Original release 2 May 1996 (1996-05-02) – 24 July 2008 (2008-07-24)

Airport is a British documentary television series based at London Heathrow Airport, the world's busiest international airport,[1] broadcast by the BBC and syndicated to Dave, part of the UKTV network.

The show is a fly-on-the-wall series following a handful of passengers and staff based at the airport, who work for the airlines, BAA, (the airport operator), the animal reception centre, which handles all animals arriving and departing through the airport, the ambulance, fire and police services serving the airport, customs and immigration, resident press and others. The airlines and staff featured tend to change from series to series. However, certain staff feature in multiple series.

Contents

  • History 1
  • Regular contributors 2
    • Other contributors 2.1
  • Production status 3
  • Transmissions 4
    • Series 4.1
    • Specials 4.2
  • Return to... Airport 5
  • Similar programmes 6
  • References 7

History

The first series of Airport aired on BBC Two in 1996. Originally intended to be a low-key behind-the-scenes documentary, the emergence of several memorable recurring characters gave the show a docusoap feel. As a result, the series was transferred to a primetime BBC One slot the following year. Special fame was gained by Jeremy Spake, an Aeroflot employee, whose flamboyance earned him a series of short 'bumpers' on UKTV People explaining how to best use airports. Other airlines featured throughout the series are Avianca, Aer Lingus, BMI, Canadian Airlines, Cyprus Airways, Czech Airlines, El Al, Emirates Airline, Gulf Air, Icelandair, Iran Air, Jat Airways, Kuwait Airways, Pakistan International, Qantas, Qatar Airways and Virgin Atlantic.

There have also been several special Airport programmes over the years featuring airports other than Heathrow, such as Frankfurt and Edinburgh.

The opening titles and music were given a make over for the start of the 7th series in 2002. From the 7th series onwards, incidental music (composed by Cherry Lodge) was added over the scenes shown on screen. The title music was once again revamped for the 10th series in 2005. In addition, Liza Tarbuck replaced John Nettles as the show's narrator for series 10.

Celebrities who have been seen on the show include Stephen Fry, Britney Spears, Kylie Minogue, Joan Collins, Michael Jackson, Pamela Anderson, Blue, Brian May, Tom Jones, Mohammed Burhanuddin, Yusuf Islam, Colin Powell, Kate Winslet, David Beckham, Kriss Akabusi, Al Pacino, Engelbert Humperdinck, Lennox Lewis, Bob Geldof and several government or state officials including Queen Elizabeth II and Bill Clinton. Princess Diana also makes an appearance in one of the pre-1997 episodes.

In one Airport episode, a BA staff member gets arrested by the airport police for impersonating someone else. He is arrested on board an incoming flight and is led away by un-uniformed officers.

Regular contributors

John Cull, Qantas Airport Manager, appears in 17 episodes of the series. Jeremy Spake, Aeroflot Airlines Manager makes frequent appearances in the series. Maria Demetriou of Cyprus Airways appears in many shows. Animal Health Officer Stuart King, Royal Suite manager Anita Newcourt and journalists Russell Clisby and Steve Meller all contribute in many of the series.

Other contributors

These include:-

Name Airline / Occupation
Anita Newcourt MBE Royal Suite Manager
Michelle Harris Terminal Manager, Terminal 3
David Duddy Customer Service Duty Manager, T1
Karen Jones Customer Service Duty Manager, T3
Dennis Stone Airport Photographer
Axle Gundarsson Steward, Icelandair
Shaker Mehio Customer Service Manager, Gulf Air
Robert Scott Immigration Officer
Maria Demetriou Airport Duty Manager, Cyprus Airways
Eric Day Immigration Officer
Eben Twum-barima Supervisor, Ghana Airways
Caroline Acherson Immigration Officer
Sarah Collins Check-in Supervisor, El Al
Peter Luck Check-in Supervisor, El Al
Elaine Pringle Dispatcher, Lufthansa
Annabel Davis WPC
Nikki Taylor Traffic Enforcement Officer
Siobhan Feeney Check-in Supervisor, Aer Lingus
Corinne Cossu Shopping Consultant
Garth Powell Customs Officer
Gregg Bailey Assistant Service Manager, bmi
Ciara Thorn Check-in Manager, bmi
Merla Celestine Airport Manager, Air Jamaica
Nauaman Supervisor, Qatar Airways
Gerard Robinson London Ambulance Service
Paul Schofield London Ambulance Service
Kelvin Ogunjimi Concierge, Canadian Airlines
Naomi Tembo Check-in Supervisor, Kenya Airways
Mina Rughani Airport Services Manager, Srilankan Airlines

Production status

Repeats of Airport have been shown on Dave and UKTV People, and they often ran an Airport day or weekend, showing back-to-back episodes for the duration of the day or weekend. Repeats have also be seen on BBC One, although less frequently. There was a new series broadcast in the first half of 2005, which finished in July 2005. Several episodes were broadcast, before a gap of about a month, then the rest of the series was shown. It is not yet known if another series will be produced. Airport is also shown once a week on the Australian Lifestyle channel, a feature channel on Australia's Foxtel Digital network and also screens on the AUSTAR cable/satellite network. It is also aired on free-to-air network the Nine Network.

Transmissions

Series

Series Start date End date Episodes
1 2 May 1996 6 June 1996 6
2 12 June 1997 14 August 1997 10
3 19 September 1998 28 November 1998 10
4 18 September 1999 12 November 1999 9
5 28 March 2000 30 May 2000 10
6 9 November 2000 22 December 2000 6
7 31 May 2001 9 August 2001 10
8 20 June 2002 25 July 2002 6
9 28 October 2002 20 January 2003 10
10 23 March 2005 21 July 2005 14
Return 14 July 2008 24 July 2008 5

Specials

Date Entitle
22 December 1998 Airport Christmas Special
24 December 1999 Airport Christmas Special
6 September 2001
22 November 2001
Airport: Miami Airport
27 April 2003
12 June 2003
Airport USA
13 November 2003 Airport Edinburgh

Return to... Airport

On 14 July 2008, the BBC broadcast a new 5-part series titled Return to... Airport. The show featured interviews with stars of the original series and behind the scenes recollections from 'cast' members, as well as original series highlights.[2]

Similar programmes

References

  1. ^ "BAA Heathrow". 
  2. ^ The Guardian, 10 July, 2008
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