Douglas Adams’ final Dirk Gently novel to be adapted for Radio 4

Spice World writer Kim Fuller has been enlisted to adapt and complete Douglas Adams’ final and unfinished Dirk Gently novel for BBC Radio 4.

The writer will use information provided in the existing chapters of The Salmon of Doubt – which Adams was working on at the time of his death – to create a six-part drama, which will be the third in a trilogy of Dirk Gently series ordered by Radio 4 from production company Above the Title in 2007.

Fuller, who as well as writing the Spice Girls movie was behind the BBC’s S Club 7 series Miami 7, was brought in to adapt The Salmon of Doubt after Dirk Maggs, who penned the previous two Dirk Gently outings, parted ways with the production company at the end of last year.

Maggs was also director of the first two series and his decision to step down fuelled speculation that the planned third Dirk Gently was unlikely to happen.

However, the production company this week said work on The Salmon of Doubt would begin later this year, with Fuller writing and Dawn Ellis, whose credits include Miranda Hart’s Joke Shop for Radio 4, taking on the role of director.

Adam Bromley, creative director of Above the Title, said Maggs’ parting with the company had been a “mutual” decision, based on the fact he had set up his own production company.

Bromley said this had made it “increasingly strange” for Maggs to be working for a competitor, but added: “We are hoping to build on his series but bring something new to the table. It’s an interesting opportunity.”

He added that Fuller would do a “fair amount of original writing” for the new six-part series, which he said would “tie up various loose ends arising from the previous two”.

“Douglas did not leave a clear template as to how the novel ends. There are some hints and clues, but what we want to do is be faithful to the spirit of the Dirk Gently books and be faithful to the spirit of Douglas Adams’ unique sense of humour. But at the same time we have to deliver a funny and entertaining series that works for the audience, even if they are not familiar with Dirk Gently,” Bromley said.

The Salmon of Doubt is scheduled to be broadcast in the summer of 2010.

Casting has not yet been confirmed, but Bromley said he hoped the original cast, including Harry Enfield, would be taking part.

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