10 things you didn't know about Roald Dahl

Published on: 19 July 2016 Author: Romana Essop

With his 100th birthday fast approaching and the release of the film adaptation The BFG on 22 July, Roald Dahl is being celebrated now more than ever.

Roald Dahl books

Despite his death in 1990, the world of Roald Dahl continues to grow. In the last 26 years alone many of his books have been adapted for the screen and there is also a charity and museum in his name.

You're probably thinking that this year can't be much more special, simply because you already know everything about him. Well, here's a list of 10 things you might not know about Roald Dahl...

1. The BFG was his favourite


Out of all his stories, Roald Dahl said that The BFG was probably his favourite. The story has now been made into a blockbuster film by Steven Spielberg.

2. He wasn't a fan of The Witches film

The Witches

He was supposedly very angry with the ending of the 1990 film adaptation of The Witches because the film's ending was very different to the book's ending. Apparently two endings were shot for the film - one which was the same as the book and another which was different - but the director chose to use the changed ending.

3. The peach was originally a cherry

James and the Giant Peach

The famous book James and the Giant Peach was originally going to be called James and the Giant Cherry but Dahl later changed it.

4. Dahl wrote his stories in a shed

Kermit typing

Dahl wrote his stories in a shed at the end of his garden using an HB pencil on yellow notepads. The original 'writing shed' can now be seen at the Roald Dahl museum.

5. A crocodile brought Roald Dahl and Quentin Blake together

Quentin Blake

The Enormous Crocodile was published in 1978 and was the first Dahl story to be illustrated by Quentin Blake. This marked the beginning of their famous partnership and Blake then went on to illustrate the rest of Dahl's children's stories and even went back to illustrate some of his older ones.

6. He has his own day

The first ever Roald Dahl Day was held on 13 September 2006 - the day Dahl would have turned 90. This year marks the 100th anniversary.

7. He has his own dictionary

Joey speaks French in Friends

Incredibly, he has created over 250 words. Most of these are used in The BFG but some appear in his other stories.

8. There was a third Charlie Bucket book

Mrs Wormwood

Dahl was writing a story entitled Charlie Bucket and the White House but died before he could finish it.

9. The man could speak 'tres' languages

Veronica Mars

Dahl could speak English, Norwegian and Swahili.

10. He loved his mum

Big eyes

It is said that the grandmother in The Witches was inspired by his own mother.

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