10 "Splendiferous” Roald Dahl Facts

By Kristina Gore Tenby Photo

Happy Roald Dahl Day to all of you many fans out there! To celebrate this gloriumptious occasion, here are 10 razztwizzling facts that you may not know: 

1. “The BFG” appeared in more than one book

That’s right! The BFG actually begun as a story within a story; told to Danny by his dad in “Danny the Champion of the World”.

2. Roald Dahl co-wrote the onscreen script of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang

Remember how scary the Child Catcher was? You have Roald to thank for those times you hid behind the sofa! The Child Catcher was one of Roald’s most memorable contributions to the script.   

3. Most of Roald’s stories were written in his shed

It may not have been the most glamorous of settings but that certainly didn't affect his work! Roald's garden shed was affectionately known as his "writing hut" and is where he wrote some of his greatest books.  

4. Roald Dahl was a spy

After flying a Hawker Hurricane Plane for the RAF during WWII, Roald went on to become a spy for MI6. Roald even worked alongside Ian Fleming who later went on to create James Bond! 

5. Roald never learned how to type

He much preferred to hand-write his stories in pencil! 

6. Roald was a chocolate taster

Famously documented in “Boy: Tales of Childhood”, Roald and his friends were willing guinea pigs for Cadbury’s newest creations during their school days. 

7. He was (almost) a giant!

At 6 foot 6 inches in height, Roald was incredibly tall (although perhaps still not quite as tall as his character “the BFG”). 

8. Roald invented hundreds of words 

Enough to fill a whole dictionary in fact! To celebrate what would have been his 100th birthday in 2016, Oxford Dictionaries created the "Oxford Roald Dahl Dictionary".  

9. Roald holidayed in Pembrokeshire

Between the years of 1920 and 1936, Roald spent every Easter holiday in our beautiful county – If it's good enough for Roald Dahl!

10.  His last children's story was published after his death

The Minpins was published in 1991, shortly after Roald’s death in 1990. Until recently, it was the only children’s book in Roald’s much loved collection that wasn’t illustrated by Quentin Blake. This has all changed recently however, as this year, Quentin Blake has re-illustrated the novel which will now be published under the new name “Billy and the Minpins”.  

If you’re keen to get your hands on the new “Billy and the Minpins” book, make sure you keep an eye on our Facebook page. We’ll be announcing a very exciting competition this evening!