DEPARTURE: A Radio Drama Starring Alison Steadman and Kevin Whately

Colin Bytheway’s drama about Life and Death. And choices. And the sock-to-trouser ratio of gay men.

Strangers Jan and Martin meet boarding a flight. A flight they know that they will not survive. But they board anyway, as this route offers – along with extra legroom- active euthanasia.

Exploiting a loophole in aviation law, flamboyant airline tycoon Hunter Mackenzie has pioneered these flights on his transatlantic routes. You board the plane, and then at a given time enter a specially designed compression chamber, receive a quick injection, and then you are dropped into the Atlantic ocean below – a burial at sea.

Jan and Martin, for different reasons, have chosen to die this way but will this encounter give them something to live for? Their story is played out against a televised interview with Hunter Mackenzie to mark the first anniversary of his flights which have been criticised by lawyers, doctors and religious leaders.


Jan – Alison Steadman (Starred in Lewis episode Intelligent Design)
Martin – Kevin Whately (Star of Lewis and Morse)
Rose – Helen George
Hunter – Julian Rhind-Tutt
Tanya – Tracy-Ann Oberman
Len – Roy Hudd

Writer – Colin Bytheway
Producer – Alison Crawford

First transmitted on 31 May 2016

Author: Chris Sullivan

After having looked after my mum for some 11 years she is now unfortunately in a nursing home. I'm afraid her dementia worsened as did her physical capabilities. UPDATE: My mum died from Covid-19 on the 6th May 2020. So, for the first time in 21 years I find myself no longer caring for anyone. Apart from my mum I was also a single parent to two children and also looked after my dad who had Alzheimers, (he died in 2005). So, I have decided to return to University to try and get another degree this time in English Literature. (My other degree I got some 30 years ago is one in Ecological Science). After a year at college I have passed all grades and now will start Edinburgh University in September 2019. I am now in second year having passed all the requirements in first year.

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