It's a very sad news for all hitchhiker's fans and british comedy fans alike. The great Geoffrey Perkins has died from a car accident friday 29th August. According to the Daily Telegraph, Geoffrey Perkins was hit by a truck on Marylebone High Street in London. He was just 55 years old.
Geoffrey Perkins began his career on Radio 4 and then BBC Radio Light Entertainment where he produced The Hitchhiker's guide to the galaxy original radio series from the second episode (Fit the Second) in remplacement of Simon Brett.
As written in the Daily Telegraph orbituary, "Early in 1978 Perkins, at 25, took over from Simon Brett as producer of The Hitch-Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy, the science-fiction based comedy being devised by Douglas Adams, a famously slow writer with a history of missed deadlines. Perkins had to chivvy Adams along, and while Adams's old Cambridge friend John Lloyd was drafted in to write large sections of the later episodes, it was Perkins who helped Adams finish the scripts. Drawing on the resources of the Radiophonic Workshop, Perkins also marshalled his sound sources into weird new forms, and devised a range of voice treatments for the actors playing aliens that broke new ground.
The result was one of the funniest and most original comedies of postwar radio, winning critical and popular acclaim and – by appealing to both high- and low-brow tastes – managing to alter entrenched public perceptions of Radio 4. "The intellectuals compared it to Swift," noted Perkins, "and the 14-year-olds enjoyed hearing depressed robots clanking around.""
Geoffrey Perkins then edited the original Radio scripts, played Arthur's producer in the quandary phase, and finally played the Narrator part during the 30th anniversary live performance of the second episode in London last march.
I had the pleasure to meet him during the 30th anniversary celebration and he kindly signed my original radio scripts book.
Apart from Hitchhikers, he was one of the most influencial comedy producer for twenty years. He was BBC head of comedy from 1995 to 2001. He produced such legendary shows as "Spitting image", "The fast show", "Father Ted", "The friday night live",...
On leaving the BBC (he was quite annoyed with BBC's bureaucracy), he joined Tiger Aspect productions. He recently procuded "Benidorm" (for ITV). His latest production for the BBC with Tiger Aspect, Harry and Paul, with Harry Enfield and Paul Whitehouse, starts next week.