COMEDIAN John Finnemore will pop into the Grand Opera House, York, on May 22 in a tour show with the apt title of John Finnemore’s Flying Visit.

“There’s no actual flying, sadly,” says Finnemore. “It’s me and the entire cast of my sketch show John Finnemore’s Souvenir Programme performing some of our favourite sketches from that show and lots of brand new ones. Plus I might even sing. Unless the rest of the cast win their legal battle to stop me.”

How would Finnemore describe life on his tour bus with his cast? “Oh, it’s everything you would expect from a Radio 4 show cast on tour,” he says. “Typically, Lawry and I will be doing a crossword, Margaret will be Skyping her kids, Simon will be at work on his cross-stitch of hedgerow flowers… and at the back of the bus, Carrie will be in her jacuzzi full of champagne, trying to drink vodka through a trumpet.”

What made Finnemore want to come to York? “I love learning about trains, but I also love learning about Vikings. York is the only city that doesn’t make me choose,” he says.

Finnemore is best known for Cabin Pressure, his sitcom about a tiny airline with only one plane. “My dad was a pilot, so the inspiration for the show – and indeed for the smooth-talking old sky-god character played by Roger Allam – isn’t very difficult to find,” he says. “Since then, I’ve written comedies about a nurse – my mum’s job – and a railway signalman – my grandad’s. If I ever stop writing, you’ll know I’ve run out of relatives.”

Finnemore happened to perform alongside Benedict Cumberbatch, in the role of Martin, in Cabin Pressure, but what was it like working with such a huge star? “Well, you’d have to ask him, but I think he coped with it pretty well,” he says.

Finnemore played Arthur the steward, a cheerful idiot. “Idiots in sitcoms get all the best lines,” he says, explaining why he favoured that part. “Plus, I’d already been a cheerful idiot on an amateur basis for some time, so it was an exciting opportunity to take it professional.”

Might Arthur be making an appearance in Flying Visit? “He certainly will, and he’s very excited about it. Mind you, he’s always very excited about everything,” says Finnemore.

Aside from Arthur, what else can York’s audience expect in the 7.30pm performance? “Well, for instance, we’ll be explaining how Pavlov’s research into conditioned reflexes in dogs was affected by Mrs Pavlova’s invention of a delicious meringue pudding; investigating what turns posh men’s trousers red; and revealing the original design brief for cats: tiny lions that live in your house,” says Finnemore. “As you can see, it’s a very educational show. Bring the kids.”

Tickets for John Finnemore’s Flying Visit are on sale on 0844 871 3024 or at