american publisher was unhappy with the use of the
word "fuck" in the hitchhiker series, and
instead of lifting the word right out, Douglas
changed it to "Belgium".
appeared a few times with the all author rock band
The Rock Bottom Remainders, featuring band members
like Amy Tan, Stephen King and Dave Barry.
mount Kilimanjaro in a rhino suit. "I'm
much too big for it and my legs stick out absurdly
from the bottom, so that I look more like a giant
prawn tempura than a rhinoceros. Inside, the heat
and the stench of stale sweat and old Dettol is
almost overpowering until you get into the swing of
was cremated along with his towel at 7.30 pm British
time, on May 16, 2001 in Santa Barbara, CA, USA.
Hundreds of fans world wide saluted him with a drink
round that time.
Gilmour, Pink Floyd frontman and friend of Douglas,
wrote a tribute on Douglas site, in the tribute
forum. "Too soon, it is indeed. You'll be
missed by the world. I'm just grateful you were able
to enjoy your genius being appreciated. Your Friend
and Fan, Dave".
The title of
the post was "Goodbye, my friend".
friend, singer Margo Buchanan, said the following
about him: "I'd just like you to know that
as a personal friend he was wonderful, and he was
without doubt the kindest and most supportive friend
we had. His mind was inspirational and he truly saw
things that others simply could not. He truly
deserved all those fans, and your respect of him was
and family went on vacation in the early year of
1999 and the following happened: "We were in
Barbados. On the second night the villa we were
renting was burgled (they stuck a long pole in
through the padlocked outer gate to get the keys).
They came into our bedroom. People told us later
that if we had woken up and seen them we would
probably have been shot."
Douglas almost became professor? "Oddly
enough, I was offered a place in English and
Philosophy at Warwick (I took their exam at the end
of 1970 for a place for 1971), but that was before I
was then offered a place at Cambridge. I'd visited
the university a few times because I had a
girlfriend there. And of course, that was in
Germaine Greer's heyday there."
loved the Internet. He saw both advantages and
disadvantages with it: "Wonderful swiftness
of responses, which saves you a great deal of time,
which you then waste by wandering about looking at
loads of useless stuff."
favourite authors were: Charles Dickens, Jane
Austen, Kurt Vonnegut, P.G Wodehouse and Ruth
thanks-to credit on the Pink Floyd album "The
Division Bell" is due to the fact that he
suggested the title for the album. The phrase is off
the song "High Hopes". *1
friend and british actor Stephen Fry was the first
to write a tribute entry on the official site after
Douglas had died. Stephen wrote: "Oh Douglas
-- your friends don't know what to think or say.
You've left the party far, far too early. All those
who knew you -- and that includes millions who never
met you -- loved you. I can't think of anything more
to write. Love, Stephen".
favoured Hugh Laurie to play Arthur Dent in a
feature movie adaption of Hitchhikers.
was 6" 5' tall, which is somewhere in the
vicinity of 198 centimeters. He was extremely tall
even as a child, rendering him a target for muck
among other children.
the 28 October 1994 Douglas appeared on stage with
Pink Floyd as a 42:nd birthday gift from Dave
Gilmour. "I played the easy lead guitar bit
on Brain Damage and then rhythm on Eclipse. I used a
left-handed Bahama Green Jerry Jones Neptune (a copy
of a Danelectro)."
daughter Polly's nickname is "Rocket" and
she was born on June 22, 1994. At the time of her
birth he said she was "long and slim and
dark haired and incomprehensibly beautiful".
used to work as a chicken shed cleaner, as a body
guard for an Arab family and in a mental hospital.
number 42 had no other significance in Douglas' life
other than that it was his age when his daughter
Polly was born.
was a fan of P.G Wodehouse. I once asked Douglas if
Wodehouse had any impact on his own writing, and he
said "Yes, a huge impact. But not an early
impact. I didn't start reading Wodehouse until I was
writing Restaurant at the End of the Universe (I can
see the impact starting almost immediately). I think
that he, without exaggeration, was a genius on the
was not satisfied with the last novel in the
hitchhiker series "Mostly Harmless". He
said this was due to the fact that he had a really
lousy year when he wrote it. One of the tragic
events that year was his step fathers passing away
recognizing Douglas in the street always surprised
him immensely. The time when this surprised him most
was when he was 10.000 feet up in the air in a small
plane between Nanjing and Wuhan in China and was
approached by a fan wanting an autograph.
and his family moved to Santa Barbara in 1999 where
it would be easier for him to stay in touch with the
people of Caravan studios as he was writing the
screen play for the Hitchhiker feature movie. He
signed the deal with Disney round Christmas time in
Douglas and his family was neighbours with John
Cleese in Santa Barbara. Not next door neighbours
though. John recently bought the house next door to
his to be able to sell the place to people with the
appropriate qualifications for being his neighbours.
bought his first computer in 1982. "It was a
standalone word processor called a Nexus that was
horrendously expensive by today's standards and
probably less powerful than the free calculator
you'd get in a Christmas cracker."
"Dave Gilmour asked me to fiddle around with
some of the lyrics, which I did, though I don't
think he used any of my suggestions in the end. The
only suggestion of mine that I know was used was
that the album could be called 'The Division Bell'.
I didn't think up the title, of course, I merely
pointed out that the phrase was lying there in one
of the song lyrics and would make a great title.
there's a story there. I had given a talk at the
Royal Geographical Society in aid of the
Environmental Investigation Agency's work on rhino
conservation. Both Dave and Nick came along and we
all went out to dinner afterwards. Dave was a bit
preoccupied about the title problem- they had to
have the title by the following morning, and no-one
could decide what it should be. I said, 'OK, I'll
give you a title, but it'll cost you a £5,000
contribution to the EIA.' Dave said, 'well, tell me
your title and we'll see'. So I suggested The
Division Bell. And Dave said, 'hmmm, well, seems to
work. Sort of fits the cover art as well. Yeah, OK'.
So, it's called the Division