The beloved Roald Dahl has been all over our social media sites, newspapers and televisions this year with it being the 100 year anniversary of his birth. A celebration of the characters and wonderful stories he created. We found out a few random facts about him and his stories and thought we would share a few with you to brighten up this Tuesday afternoon:
- Apparently, Mr Dahl hated beards – he had a severe dislike of them and this was the idea behind ‘The Twits’, he had a desire to ‘do something against beards’!
- With the outbreak of World War II, Dahl joined the Royal Air Force and became a fighter pilot, although following injuries suffered as a result of a horrific crash in 1940, he was medically retired.
- In 1942, Dahl became a spy for the British Embassy based out of Washington DC and worked alongside Ian Fleming, the creator of James Bond, as well as many others.
- Whilst at school, Dahl and a few of his friends were given the annual job of chocolate tasting for Cadburys’ new products, providing him with the thought and ideas behind ‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory‘.
- James and the Giant Peach was originally called James and the Giant Cherry but Dahl felt that a large, squishy, pretty peach was much more appropriate and changed it.
- Dahl invented two key pieces of medical equipment during a troubling time in his life, when his four-year-old son Theo was knocked over and suffered a traumatic brain injury resulting in cephalous. In order to drain the fluid from the brain Dahl, along with neurosurgeon Kenneth Till, came up with the idea of what we know today as the ventricular catheter and shunt valves, used over the decades thousands of times during neurosurgery.
- In 1971 a real person called Willy Wonka wrote to Roald Dahl – he was a postman in Nebraska.
- Dahl did dabble in writing for the adults as well and one short story of his was even published in Playboy Magazine!
I’m sure you have read and seen many more weird and wonderful facts about the lovely Mr Dahl, but these were a few of our favourites.