A Conversation for Obituary - Peter Jones
Peter Jones-my tribute
ZBeeblebrox Started conversation May 4, 2000
I was greatly saddened to hear that Peter Jones had died. As a fan of HHG for 16 years I really felt a sense of loss but strangely enough for the second time.
This is because in 1992 I read a wildly inaccurate Ceefax news report (the BBC's teletext service) saying that
Peter Jones had died, and had spent xx years at the BBC as a commentator of cricket matches, the annual
Oxford/Cambridge Boat Race, and Royal occasions. Nowhere was HHG given a mention.
It didn't take me long to establish that the man referred to was in fact Brian Johnston, who hadn't died either. (In
Life, the Universe and Everything, at the Ashes match at Lord's, one of the radio commentators is called Brian.
Still, the loss of Peter Jones is now a fact, but we have his work in all its forms to enjoy. I feel fortunate to own
both the records and a video recording of the South Bank Show documentary on DNA - which features Arthur and
Ford, still travelling, and several pieces of narrative by Peter Jones, including the 'high on a rocky promontory'
passage from Dirk Gently!
Peter Jones was the Voice of the Book, rather than just an actor reading a script. From the very outset DNA
wanted the Book/Narrator to have 'a Peter Jonesy voice' - it was always going to be him.
My own first experience of HHG was listening to the first record. What struck me very quickly (apart from wondering what an encycli-opaedia was) was this
reassuringly calm voice speaking with infinite wisdom and, combined with the 'cosmic' background music, made me
think 'this is just what a Hitch-Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy would sound like'. It was also the embodiment of the
phrase 'DON'T PANIC!'
My favourite pieces of narrative are those with specially composed music i.e. Fits the Seventh to the Twelfth,
the TV series, and both records. The timing and melody of the music blends perfectly with Peter's voice and
always reflects the subject being explained or described.
Peter was on TV in Britain recently - in an episode of the detective drama series 'Midsomer Murders' - in which he
played an elderly gentleman whose speciality it was to bake fairy cakes containing his 'secret ingredient' -
cannabis grown in his greenhouse!
Like countless others, I wanted DNA to write another radio series, as Fit the Twelfth was left agonizingly
open-ended, but I feel that it is impossible to find a replacement narrator - there isn't one. I don't know who's
lined up to do this movie, but it won't be the same. The Book has forever lost its Voice. With sincere apologies to
DNA and Stephen Moore - both of whom have read the novels onto audio, Peter Jones was -is- the Book.
It is not difficult to imagine that even now his voice is calmly giving guidance to all those interstellar hitchers long
since departed. Nor that the Guide itself has a new entry - the Afterlife!
Cheers Peter, I shall raise a Pan Galactic Gargle Blaster to you tonight.
So Long, and Thanks for All the Enjoyment.
Peter Jones-my tribute
Perfect Tommy Posted Dec 20, 2000
Where have I been? Being in Canada (yes, I know it isn't much of an excuse... very sorry...), I've only just heard the news of the passing of Peter Jones. At the moment I feel like someone has just punched me squarely in the chest.
I can still remember the sunny, summer afternoon, twenty odd years ago now, when I first heard Mr. Jone's voice. I was a young teen-ager, wearing my dad's headphones and playing around with the stereo, trying to find something interesting. Suddenly, rather than music, I hear a voice... speaking calmly, his words roll over me like a warm blanket, making me pause in my search, then stop, and there I sat for the next twenty odd minutes, enraptured by Episode 2 of the HHGTTG.
Peter Jones had a voice that I cannot give any justice to in this medium... you simply had to hear it to know what I mean. Those memories are treasures for me, and I look forward to introducing them to my infant sons, once they have grown enough to appreciate them. I know this is all old news now; I merely had to write something, to vent the feeling of loss. You will be missed, Mr. Jones, more than I can say.
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