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Don't Panic! It's The Douglas Adams Papers

John Lloyd uncovers the story of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, 40 years on, with the help of the private papers of his friend and colleague Douglas Adams.

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' books.

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John also discusses how unpublished writings by Douglas Adams have just been used in a new series of The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy, about to be transmitted on Radio 4.

A Bite Media production for BBC Radio 4.

Available now

58 minutes