BBC Radio to celebrate Hitchhiker's Guide To The GalaxyBookmark and Share

Friday, 7 March 2014 - Reported by John Bowman
BBC Radio 4 Extra is bringing listeners the brand-new 30th anniversary edition of the Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy Game online and broadcasting the first two series from tomorrow - 36 years to the day since the first radio broadcast of Hitchhiker's and 30 years since the invention of the award-winning game.

Hitchhiker's started life as a BBC Radio 4 series in March 1978. The original scripts by the late Douglas Adams spawned novels, a feature film, at least three stage shows, a TV series and a collection of comic books - as well as various towels.

The game was devised in 1984 by Adams and Steve Meretzky from Infocom. Notoriously difficult and full of oddities, it was one of the best-selling games of its era.

The 20th-anniversary edition of the game launched on Radio 4's website in 2004, and more than three million moves were made in the game in its first three days of launch and more than 50 million moves had been played within six months. It went on to win a BAFTA for Best Online Entertainment.

The 30th-anniversary specially-updated version of the game will allow users to share their achievements with friends over social media via the official Twitter feed @h2g2game.

The game will now be in high definition, thanks to refreshed illustrations and graphics. It is web-based and will be accessible via Radio 4 Extra's website. Players will also be able to take the game on the move, as it will be compatible with tablets and other internet enabled devices.

Radio 4 Extra will also be broadcasting series one and two of The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy. It has been more than 10 years since these programmes were last heard on BBC Radio and they perfectly accompany the game. Actions within the game follow the plot of the radio series and some puzzles are only solvable by players with knowledge of the programmes and story.

The single-player game starts with lead character Arthur Dent working his way through a series of different challenges and zones. Players use a specially-designed keyboard to enter their commands and there are achievements to be won throughout the game by completing a series of tasks. This interactive work of fiction sees players visiting other planets, meeting aliens and robots, and creating (or losing) the plot, based on their decisions and choices as they progress through the game. It is renowned for its difficulty and it never misses a chance to kill players off in hilarious and infuriating ways.

Caroline Raphael, commissioning editor for Radio 4 Extra, said:
Douglas was a true visionary and in his own glorious way foresaw all the technology we now take for granted. Radio 4 Extra is delighted to host this game alongside the first two series. Hitchhiker's fans will be rewarded for their loyalty over the years and newer fans have a real, but fiendish, treat in store. March 8th is a special day for the galaxy, so help us celebrate it in the unique way that only BBC Radio 4 Extra can.
The first episode of the first series will be broadcast at 6pm, with further episodes following weekly in the same slot on Saturdays.

And later this month, the original Hitchhiker's cast will continue to shake up the Radio 4 schedule when they reunite for a special performance, broadcast live from the BBC Radio Theatre in Broadcasting House. Led by Simon Jones as Arthur Dent, they will be bringing to life the characters created for them by Adams in highlights from the entire Hitchhiker's saga. The actors will be joined on stage by a Special Guest Voice Of The Book - Adams's long-time collaborator and sometime flatmate John Lloyd, who co-wrote the fifth and sixth episodes of the first series and was associate producer of the TV version.

It takes place on Saturday 29th March at 10am as part of the Character Invasion event that will see some of the nation's best-loved characters invade Radio 4 and take over the airwaves. Tickets for the show can be applied for via this link. Please note that they will be allocated via a random draw. People can register for up to four tickets per household at any time until Thursday 13th March at 4pm. Other broadcasts that same day can also be applied for, but should you be successful in the draw you will only receive tickets for one session. It should also be noted that allocation of the free tickets does not guarantee entry.




Hitchhiker's stage show cancelled mid-tourBookmark and Share

Saturday, 26 October 2013 - Reported by John Bowman
Poor ticket sales have led to the sudden cancellation of the touring production of The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy Radio Show Live!

It was pulled ahead of a performance due to be held at The Hawth in Crawley last Monday, with ticket-holders being told to contact venues for refunds. The show was due to continue touring until the end of November.

A notice on the production's website reads:
The Radio Theatre Company deeply regret to announce the immediate cancellation of The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy Radio Show 2013 Tour. Tonight's performance at The Hawth, Crawley, and tomorrow's at the Watford Colosseum will not take place, nor will any of the remaining scheduled shows in October and November. Ticket-holders are being contacted and should contact venues for refunds.

Although a well-loved show, Hitchhiker's Live has been subject to the same extreme economic pressures as many productions touring the UK this autumn. Ticket sales across the board have been lower than average and we have not escaped this trend. A difficult financial environment for such a large and technical show means that covering operating costs has become impossible. As a result, in the last 24 hours we have had no option but make the extremely hard and painful decision to stop the tour.

We sincerely apologise for any inconvenience this may cause and share the extreme disappointment and frustration felt by many who were looking forward to seeing the show. we sincerely hope that it can be brought back in the future.
Simon Jones, who had been reprising the role of Arthur Dent, posted the following joint statement with director Dirk Maggs on his Facebook page:
With infinite regret, despite happy audiences and 5-star reviews, we have been forced to curtail this tour ahead of schedule due to economic adversity. Having worked so hard to put on a show worthy of Douglas Adams and his devoted fans, we are utterly devastated.

It has been a pleasure to be a part of a company, band and crew who have become a close-knit family. We know people hoping to see the show will be as horribly disappointed as we are, and offer our heartfelt apologies for any inconvenience this has caused.
The show first toured last year, reuniting many of the original radio and TV cast members and with guest performers such as Neil Gaiman providing the voice of The Book.




Another 33 Performances For Hitchhiker's TourBookmark and Share

Tuesday, 26 February 2013 - Reported by John Bowman
Another 33 performances have been added to the upcoming tour of The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy Radio Show Live!

They will be staged at 28 venues in England, Wales, Northern Ireland, and Scotland, with the details as follows (NB: Not all venues have the show on their website yet or have a dedicated link for the show) :
Earlier this month, 16 performances were also added to the tour, which starts at The Hackney Empire in London on Saturday 14th September and Sunday 15th September.

The show has been adapted from the Douglas Adams novels by Dirk Maggs, who is also the director.





More Dates For Hitchhiker's TourBookmark and Share

Wednesday, 13 February 2013 - Reported by John Bowman
More dates have been added to this year's tour of The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy Radio Show Live!

Sixteen performances at 12 venues across England and Scotland have been announced, taking place between September and November.


As reported earlier this month
, the production will be at The Hackney Empire in London on Saturday 14th September and Sunday 15th September.

The show has been adapted from the Douglas Adams novels by Dirk Maggs, who is also the director.




Hitchhiker's Radio Show To Hit The Road AgainBookmark and Share

Tuesday, 5 February 2013 - Reported by John Bowman
The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy Radio Show Live! will be taking to the stage again.

The production, which toured round England, Scotland and Wales last June and July, will be at The Hackney Empire in London on Saturday 14th September and Sunday 15th September, with more dates and venues to be announced in due course.

Simon Jones will once again play Arthur Dent, joined by other cast members from the radio and TV shows plus special guests as the voice of The Book.

It has been adapted from the Douglas Adams novels by Dirk Maggs, who is also the director.