Dirk Gently, the fictional detective created by the late author Douglas Adams, is to be played on screen for the first time by the comic actor Stephen Mangan in a new BBC adaptation, it was announced yesterday.
Mangan, who is best known for his role in Green Wing, will star in the BBC4 film alongside Cold Feet star Helen Baxendale. Adams, who created The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy, first wrote about the anti-hero in his novel Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency in 1987.
The hard-up and unconventional Gently, who has previously been portrayed by Harry Enfield on Radio 4, runs a detective agency based on the principle that all things are connected. When he sets out to track down a lost cat, he uncovers a double murder.
Mangan said: "Dirk is a chaotic, anarchic force of nature with a totally unique take on the world. He is described as 'lazy, untidy, dismissive and unreliable'. I've absolutely no idea why they thought I'd be right for the role."
Shooting began this week in Bristol and the film is expected to be screened in the winter.