Wednesday, 25 November 2015

Douglas Adams' flat in London

I find it helps to describe a scene if I've seen it, so I was looking on Rightmove for a suitable place for my heroine's mother to live near Highbury Fields when I chanced upon this flat (link may expire). It's one of Douglas Adams' old homes. I've always known he lived in Islington, round the corner from me, but was never sure exactly where. The estate agent writes, 

It is not often that Hotblack Desiato has the opportunity to sell an apartment that used to be owned by Douglas Adams, who borrowed our name for a character in Hitchhikers' Guide to the Galaxy.

In the book, Hotblack Desiato was frontman for the mega-successful rock band Disaster Area, and spent a year dead for tax reasons. They may boast about it now on their website, but at the time the estate agent was not so pleased. For a while the firm's name changed to Hotblack & Co, no doubt because people assumed they had stolen the name from Douglas Adams, not vice versa.

This is the living room as it is today, fourteen years after Douglas Adams died too young at 49. I bet that pipe was there in his day, raising eyebrows. It's not the sort of thing you'd install on purpose. Why hasn't the house got a blue plaque? That's what I'd like to know.


  1. What a cool place to own... although, I should imagine that Islington was a bit more of a dive when he lived there than it is now. It looks lovely too, light airy and the pipe is.... a talking point?



    1. Hi MTM! He owned that top floor flat late 70s and early 80s, when Islington was affordable. Now you need to be rich to buy even a small flat there.

      I'd have that pipe out before its little feet touched the ground :o)

  2. So, did you visit in the flesh or just virtually? And are you buying? :)

    That pipe is a definite feature. I wonder what it was/is for and if you even could just rip it out.

    1. Just virtually. I'm planning on staying in my now ridiculously valuable little Islington pad :o)