The Gently Touch

Dirk Gently is coming to Radio 4, and it’s just been announced that he’ll sound a lot like Harry Enfield. The comedian is taking on the lead role in six half-hour episodes of Douglas Adams’s Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency, set to air in October. The series will be released by BBC Audiobooks in November.

The show’s the work of the team who made the rather good Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy Tertiary, Quandary and Quintessential Phases, and has been adapted and directed by Dirk Maggs (the man Adams chose to conclude the Hitchhiker’s story). Enfield (who, as you can see, has already decided to adopt the trenchcoat plus hat look traditionally favoured by those of the detectivey persuasion) will be joined by a rather impressive cast; Lord of the Rings’ Billy Boyd will play Gently client Richard Macduff; Peep Show’s Olivia Colman will lend her vocal cords to secretary Janice Pearce; Fawlty Towers’ Andrew Sachs will play Professor Reg Chronotis; and Jim Carter’s set to voice Dirk’s nemesis DS Gilks. Other names on the cast list include I’m Alan Partridge’s Felicity Montagu, and Robert Duncan Smith (AKA Gus from Drop the Dead Donkey). We’re told that this first series will take in everything from “quantum physics to missing cats, via Coleridge, Bach and an Electric Monk”. And frankly you don’t get that on The Archers.