Ten years ago, BBC World Service broadcast an hour-long radio adaptation of Neil Gaiman‘s American Gods spinoff Anansi Boys, featuring Lenny Henry who had produced Gaiman’s Neverwhere TV series as Spider and Matt Lucas as Fat Charlie. The necessary reduction to fit the story into such a short time led Gaiman to be displeased with the result. Later Lenny Henry would go on to record a full read of the book and Gaiman says that it is his preferred version of the text.
But it looks like the BBC are going to get to have another go. Amazon lists an audio adaptation of the original – although the audio sample for the listing is to the Lenny Henry read. But the actual listing promises a full-cast Radio 4 adaptation, out in February next year. Which suggests something different to the World Service version.
A new BBC Radio 4 full-cast dramatization of Neil Gaiman’s bestselling 2006 novel about Fat Charlie Nancy and his spider God father and brother taking over his life, and generally doing a better job of it than him. But will Charlie be able to get his life back without entering a whole new world of pain?
Charlie Nancy first appeared in Neil Gaiman’s American Gods, now a hit TV series.
One might suggest this might be made with producer Dirk Maggs, for BBC Radio 4. Maggs also adapted Neverwhere for the radio, as well as Stardust, Alien, Hitch-Hikers Guide To The Galaxy, Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency, Judge Dredd, Batman. Superman, Spider-Man, Independence Day, Good Omens and much more in that ilk.
Odds are good. And if the commercial audio release is for February next year, so we might expect broadcast sooner rather than later.
Anansi Boys was also tapped for a TV adaptation for the BBC by production company Red back in 2014, but haven’t heard about that one for a while…