Key details

BBC Radio 4
John Lloyd, Simon Brett, Simon Jones, Geoffrey McGivern, Mark Wing-Davey and Paddy Kingsland

John Lloyd unearths the private papers of his friend and colleague Douglas Adams, and discovers more about the agonies he went through to write The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy, forty years ago.

The papers, donated to St John's College, Cambridge University, include note books, ramblings, rants about how hard it is to write, unfinished scenes and passages never included in Douglas Adams's books.

John Lloyd co-wrote the first series of The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy, which started on Radio 4 in 1978. He reveals that he and Douglas Adams had been commissioned to write the first novel together, following the success of the radio series, but Douglas decided to "give me the boot" and went on to write the books on his own. The novels have sold something in the region of 14 million copies.

Other contributors to the programmes include the original producer and now novelist Simon Brett; original cast members Simon Jones, Geoffrey McGivern and Mark Wing-Davey; and Paddy Kingsland of the BBC Radiophonic Workshop.

John also discusses how unpublished writings by Douglas Adams have just been used in a new series of The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy, about to be transmitted on Radio 4.

Additional details

Also known as
  • Archive On 4: Don't Panic! It's The Douglas Adams Papers

Broadcast details

First broadcast
Saturday 3rd March 2018 at 8pm on BBC Radio 4
Episode length
1 hour
Most recent repeats
  • Sunday 30th May 2021 at 1:00am on Radio 4 Extra
  • Saturday 29th May 2021 at 1:00pm on Radio 4 Extra
  • Tuesday 25th May 2021 at 9:00pm on Radio 4 Extra

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