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24 September 2014
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Radio 4 summer / autumn
Simon Jones, Geoffrey McGivern, Susan Sheridan, Mark Wing-Davey and Stephen Moore star in The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy. © Above The Title

BBC Radio 4 has the answer to Everything: A brand new series of The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy

BBC Radio 4 announced today (Monday 21 June) the return of the ground-breaking radio classic The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy as part of its new summer/autumn schedule.

The first series, which begins in September, spearheads the new season.

Followers of Arthur Dent and Ford Prefect's journey through time and space will have brand new series to enjoy, based on the last three books (Life, The Universe And Everything; So Long And Thanks For All The Fish and Mostly Harmless) written by Douglas Adams.

Thanks to the wonders of digital technology, Douglas himself features in the dramatisation.

He always intended to play the part of Agrajag and in fact recorded the part a few years ago.

These further exploits of its bewildered hero Arthur Dent are being brought to life in their original medium and with the (mainly) original cast.

It stars Simon Jones as Arthur Dent, Geoffrey McGivern as Ford Prefect, Susan Sheridan as Trillian, Mark Wing-Davey as Zaphod Beeblebrox and Stephen Moore as Marvin The Paranoid Android.

The late Peter Jones's great friend William Franklyn replaces him as The Voice Of The Book.

The programmes are adapted and directed by Douglas Adams' original choice for the job, award-winning audio director Dirk Maggs.

Dirk has followed Douglas Adams' instructions and notes, which he made in preparation for these productions.

The series, produced by Above The Title, starts its six-week run on Tuesday 21 September at 6.30pm.

Visit for more information, games and sneak previews.

Other comedy highlights include:

A comic tour-de-force by Johnny Vegas in Norman, a play specially written for him;

Trevor's World Of Sport, written by Andy Hamilton and starring Neil Pearson;

New comedy from Jo Caulfield and The Consultants.

Johnny Vegas stars in Norman, a monologue by Mike Stott, which reveals the life and loves of Norman, a man who has learnt how to live on the margins of society, without bitterness, pride or a single direct debit (Afternoon Play, Monday 19 July, 2.15-3.00pm).

Stand-up comedian and So Graham Norton writer, Jo Caulfield, gets her first series on Radio 4.

She turns her acerbic wit on the irritating things that get under her skin (It's That Jo Caulfield Again, Thursdays from 7 October, 6.30pm).

The Consultants, that is Justin Edwards, Neil Edmonds and James Rawlings, make a triumphant return to Radio 4 (Tuesdays, starting 15 December, 6.30pm).

The factual programme highlights include:

Joan Bakewell with Seven Deadly Sins (Midsummer Sins, Wednesdays from 14 July at 9.00am).

She'll be inviting listeners to nominate an eighth sin for modern times;

Anna Ford presents a major new series investigating alternative and complementary medicine (The Other Medicine, Tuesdays, from 21 September, 9.00pm);

Actor and writer Kwame Kwei-Armah travels round the UK and America to find out what black churches are doing to combat black-on-black gun crime (Drop The Gun, Thursday 19 August, 8.00pm);

1914 - The Diary Of George V, Robert Lacey has edited the diaries for 1914 kept by the Queen's grandfather (Monday 26- Friday 30 July, 9.45am).

Drama's highlights include:

A new production of Homer's The Odyssey, starring Amanda Redman, Tim McInnerny and Janet McTeer, dramatised by Simon Armitage (Saturday 28 August, 2.30-4.00pm; 8.30-10.00pm and Sunday 29 August, 3.00-4.00);

The first-ever dramatisation of Alexander McCall Smith's The No 1 Ladies' Detective Agency (Fridays, from 10 September, 2.15pm).

Elsewhere on Radio 4 Clive Anderson looks at a system where punishment fits the criminal not the crime; Murray Walker takes on the lawn-mower racers; David Suchet stars as Christopher Isherwood; Peter Cook's career is revealed in his own words through the archives; John Wilson considers if the 'left-liberal consensus' has dominated arts provision and funding since the war and musician/comedian Bill Bailey extols the virtues of the theremin.


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