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BBC's Hitchhiker's beats Archers with 1m web listeners

LONDON – BBC Online repeats of the latest series of Radio 4 sci-fi comedy 'Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy' are being accessed by around 1m people, with the show gaining more listeners on the internet than flagship shows such as 'The Archers' and the 'Today Programme'.

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BBC director of radio Jenny Abramsky, who was speaking at a Department of Culture, Media and Sport charter review seminar yesterday, said the figures vindicated the broadcaster's web investments.

She is reported to have said it was vital that the BBC continued to make programmes, such as this latest adaptation of the Douglas Adam's series of novels featuring characters such as Arthur Dent and Zaphod Beeblebrox, to attract people to the internet.

This latest series, made 26 years after the original was first broadcast and including an adaptation of Douglas Adam's third book in the series 'Life, the Universe and Everything', can be accessed for seven days after the show is broadcast on Radio 4 on Tuesday and late night on Thursday.

According to BBC News Online, one episode of the sci-fi comedy gained twice as many listeners online as 'The Archers'. It says that since September 21 about 1m people have listened to the five episodes broadcast to date.

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