An intergalactic star-studded cast including Jonathan Pryce, Stephen Fry, Jackie Mason and a Hollywood heart-throb join the original radio line-up - including Simon Jones and Mark Wing-Davey - in the last ever instalment of Douglas Adams' classic tale, starting Tuesday 3 May at 6.30pm.
Tracing the story of Arthur Dent and his friend Ford Prefect as they 'hitchhike' their way around the universe in search of 'life, the universe and everything', The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy has become a global phenomenon and won a place in the hearts of many.
The BBC's involvement with the cult classic began in 1978 with the original Radio 4 series, which subsequently led to the best-selling novels.
Within five years, the BBC was airing a Bafta-winning
television version with Mark Wing-Davey and Simon Jones reprising their
radio roles as Zaphod Beeblebrox and Arthur Dent.
Last year, Simon and Mark returned to Radio 4 in the latest adaptation - which continues in May with the final phase of the adventure.
Radio 4 also launched an award-winning Hitchhikers website and Adams' philosophy of sharing information to create the ultimate manual - an online Hitchhiker's Guide - found its home at the BBC in h2g2.
Featuring in the new brand new Radio 4 series - adapted from the final two books in the series, So Long & Thanks For All The Fish and Mostly Harmless - are some familiar names connected with the Hitchhiker's Guide from its other incarnations.
David Dixon and Sandra Dickinson (Ford Prefect and Trillian in the television series) play Ecological Man and Tricia McMillan respectively, Bill Paterson (an Arcturan Mega Freighter Pilot in the original radio series) plays Rob McKenna, and Rula Lenska (Lintilla in the second radio series) features as The Voice Of the Bird.
Finally, Stephen Fry, Murray Bost Henson in Radio 4's adaptation, is also the Voice of the Book in the forthcoming Hollywood film.
This final series of Hitchhiker for BBC Radio has been adapted and directed by Dirk Maggs, who recently won the 2004 Mark Time Grand Master Award For Science Fiction Radio, and produced by Helen Chattwell and Bruce Hyman, award-winning directors of Above the Title Productions.
Radio 4's award-winning Hitchhikers website is offering new versions of the Hitchhiker's Adventure Game and improved features to coincide with the programme's latest phase in May.
The updated website (bbc.co.uk/radio4/hitchhikers) features
new adaptations of the game - with fresh graphics from members of the
public and improved tips - while new webchats, interviews, episode streaming
(live or on-demand in 5.1 surround sound for Windows Media Player /
Real Player) and updated photo galleries will appear during the series.
Making fiction fact, the BBC has launched the world's first real-life Hitchhiker's Guide for the latest smart phones and PDAs.
With access to more than 7,000 edited articles from bbc.co.uk/h2g2, the mobile Guide is the perfect travelling companion for those on the move.
To access the service from an appropriate mobile device, users should type in www.bbc.co.uk/mobile/h2g2 or text h2g2 to 81010. Calls will be charged at the usual operator rates.
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy starts on Radio
4 on Tuesday 3 May at 6.30pm and is repeated on Thursdays at 11.00pm.