Hello, we hope you’re having a gloriumptious and whoopsy whiffling day. Today (13th September) marks the 100th anniversary of Roald Dahl’s birth and we thought we’d celebrate by putting together some of our favourite fantabulous facts about one of the most loved authors ever.
Did you know that Roald Dahl co-wrote the classic film Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and was responsible for creating the character of the Childcatcher?
Roald Dahl’s first children’s book was called The Gremlins (about creatures who live in aeroplanes; it was based on Dahl’s experiences in the RAF). Walt Disney planned to turn it into a film but it was never made.
Dahl worked in military Intelligence in America during the Second World War and passed information about President Roosevelt to Churchill.
Dahl’s books have sold over a mind smuzzling 200 million copies worldwide.
When Roald Dahl’s baby son was injured in an accident he, along with his friends, engineer Stanley Wade and Kenneth Till, invented a valve to reduce pressure on the brain. The valve was used successfully on hundreds of children.
A brewery in Hackney has made a special beer to celebrate his centenary using yeast taken from Roald Dahl’s writing chair.
When Dahl was a schoolboy a local chocolate factory used to send samples of new chocolate bars to the boys to try. This experience was of course part of the inspiration behind Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.
In 1965 Dahl’s wife (who was also pregnant at the time) suffered a cerebral aneurysm. During her recovery her speech was affected, meaning she had to re-learn how to speak, partly inspiring some of the language used by the BFG.
Dahl used a number of characters in more than one of his books. Mugwump the monkey, from the Enormoys Crocodile, also appears in The Twits (a very similar looking monkey also appears in The Giraffe, the Pelly and Me).
When Roald Dahl died, in 1990, he was apparently buried with some of his favourite things including HB pencils, red wine, snooker cues, chocolate and a power saw.
If you’re celebrating Roald Dahl Day we hope it goes with a fizz and a whallop. We’d love to see pictures of your celebrations too; share with us via our Facebook and Twitter pages. We’re off for a cup of frobscottle and some snozzcumbers.
For more about the marvellous man himself and resources including classroom quizzes, visit: