Update on The Frood? To quote Sir Guy, “GETTING IT READY FOR YOU NOW.”

This article made a rather good point yesterday, that Douglas Adams would probably have been more bemused and befuddled by the concept of folk all around the world celebrating his work via bathroom linen than anything else – but then, as we only do it because he’s no longer here, that’s no reason for anyone to hold back, from Innsbruck to Santa Barbara, grab your towel and have a good time…


The last time I had a pass for this building, I was pitching a show to a Radio 4 producer circa 2001. A callow youth.

The high probability that fans somewhere will still be celebrating this day after we have all joined Adams is a very pleasing thought, but even though last year was the 35th anniversary of Hitchhiker’s first leakage into public consciousness, 2014 has turned out to be a particularly auspicious year for towel-carriers everywhere. Of course, it’s the 35th anniversary of the publication of the novel that turned a cult Radio 4 comedy into an international sensation, but it could well also be the year when that radio titan finally reached its conclusion.


A thoroughly unprofessional photograph of a thoroughly geektastic experience – being the one audience member for the Hitchhiker Live technical rehearsal.

Returning to probability – or this time, Improbability – what odds would you give? That one year ago I would sit down and begin to write an all-new updated history of The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy, roughly ten years on from Nick Webb’s previous Official Biography but without any particular anniversary guiding me… And then, within the very last FORTNIGHT of the writing of The Frood, I would find myself in the BBC Radio Theatre watching the ultimate embodiments of Arthur Dent, Ford Prefect, Trilian Astra-Mcmillan, Zaphod Beeblebrox, Random Dent, and TWO embodiments of Marvin, taking their quite probably final bows for a brand new live broadcast of the programme that started it all? I still hadn’t quite recovered from the honour of being handed an unproduced Blackadder script by Richard Curtis two years earlier, but this was further off the scale.


And yes, the Hitchhiker Live experience was made even more exciting by discovering this book in the small BBC shop, one of only three or four titles they were featuring. Still available in all… places.

The other way in which ‘Blackadder In Bethlehem’ was just a taster for the archival treats to come has already been detailed in this blog, but it has deepened since, with my second trip to Cambridge. Sadly no palatial quarters for me this time, I had to find myself thrillingly seedy digs as I documented every last scrap of the private Adams Archive at St. John’s that I could – very hard work, and worth every millisecond.

THE FROOD will now be out this September (pre-order here why don’t you? Have Amazon started paying their bloody tax yet? Apologies if not. Buy it from a proper shop in four months then), and in addition to the teases already teased, I’ve been able to work in whole chapters of a totally different draft of ‘Life, The Universe and Everything’ previously believed destroyed, sections from the planned second TV series which never got beyond the rough script stage, and… well, too much to document here. We could only fit the cream of the discoveries into the book! And last time I shot my mouth off in this arena the lovely folk at St. John’s College told me off, and I had to remove images and await rights clearance, so for now, perhaps this Fit should keep shtum.

There will be much more to come at the start of the autumn – including special Hitchhiker events in Cambridge and as the centrepiece of this year’s Cheltenham Literary Festival, so keen Froods should keep their eyes non-literally peeled for further information. But if they’re real fans, they will quite probably BURST. Like a Drubber. Sorry, that’s a Hitchhiker reference which will only make sense to you after reading THE FROOD…

Right, I have an afternoon gig at the Spiegeltent as part of the Bath Fringe, and as it’s Towel Day I’ll be ending on ‘So Long & Thanks For All The Fish’, so I’m off to get ready. For now…




One thought on “THE FROOD: Fit The Third

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