Saturday, May 09, 2009

Towel Day 2009 DNA Tribute 4

With Towel Day being a tribute to Douglas Adams and therefore of course The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy. There are fans no matter how good a job Stephen Fry attempted to do in the film, or William Franklyn did when the final three books of the five book 'triology' was adapted for Radio as the Tertiary, Quandary and Quintessential Phases, there will only truely be one voice of 'The Guide'; Peter Jones. Jones Predeceased Douglas and indeed just before the first birthday of H2G2 in April 2000. This was the early days of the guide and looking at the entry that Demon Drawer AKA wrote I thing like the entry on earth it is due a little expansion. Anyway this has been on the guide since the 9 August 2000.

Peter Jones (1920 - 2000)

'And Peter Jones as the Book', is how the credits always finished for the radio show of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. What a dry voice it was, a voice that you couldn't possible panic to, and on 8 March, 1978, the legendary voice was first heard as 'The Book'.

Peter Jones was born at Wem in Shropshire, England on 12 June, 1920. He left what he'd called 'a tenth-rate public school' to start his career at the age of 16. He got his first acting job at the Grand Theatre, Wolverhampton, but it did not last long. He was sacked after five minutes.

However, undeterred by this early failure, he made his first broadcast in a production of Arnold Bennett's The Card, and so it was that this distinctive voice was first heard by a mass audience. He made his London West End stage debut during the Second World War. His most famous appearance on television was as Mr Fenner, the long-suffering factory boss in The Rag Trade which had an audience of 14 million in the 1960s.

Peter Jones will always be remembered for his radio performances. For over 25 years, he was part of the golden quartet on Just a Minute, his dry wit and distinctive manner of speech ensuring a permanent spot on the team. He also appeared as the quizmaster on Twenty Questions. However, as the voice of 'The Book' in the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, that which made sure that we never 'panicked', is how Peter Jones is best remembered. He died aged 79 on 10 April, 2000, after a short illness.

So long oh voice of the Book Demon Drawer

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