road dahl facts

13th September 2020 marks what would have been Roald Dahl’s 104th birthday!

To celebrate all the brilliant books, playful poems and witty words he gave us over the years, we’ve put together some fantastic facts about the author’s life, and boy are there some humdingers…

Did you know that we have a FREE downloadable Roald Dahl primary resource? Great for teachers, homeschoolers and parents alike!

Roald Dahl facts

road dahl facts

1. Dahl wrote many of his stories in a little shed at the bottom of his garden

Known as his ‘writing hut’, Dahl sat in a battered old armchair and penned famous tales such as Matilda and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

2. He was a fighter pilot in World War II 

During a flight in a Gloster Gladiator (fighter plane) in 1940 over Libya, Dahl crash landed in the desert and survived – all because he’d been given the wrong directions!

3. Dahl wrote for around four hours every single day

From 10am – 12pm, and then 4pm – 6pm

road dahl facts

4. He never learned how to type

Instead, Dahl preferred to do all his writing in an old red book in pencil.

5. When Roald Dahl died in 1990, he was buried with some of his favourite things

Including a power drill, chocolate, snooker cues and of course, his HB pencils.

6. There are strange mementos still sitting in his writing hut

These include a huge ball made of old chocolate wrappers, and a piece of hip bone that he had to have removed!

road dahl factsQuentin Blake illustrated many of Dahl’s much loved books over the years.

7. Dahl was a spy

During World War II he passed intelligence to MI6 from Washington.

8. Dahl invented over 250 new words

There’s even an official Oxford Roald Dahl Dictionary to help you tell your snozzcumbers from your snozzberries.

9. Many of Dahl’s characters were based on people he’d met in real life

The grandmother in The Witches is said to be based on Dahl’s mother, and the little girl in The BFG was named after his granddaughter, Sophie. 

10. Dahl was born in Wales, but his parents were Norwegian

As a child, Roald spoke fluent Norwegian and English. He’s even named after the famous Norwegian polar explorer, Roald Amundson.

road dahl facts

11. Writing wasn’t his strong point at school

– according to his teachers, anyway!

12. In 1971, a real man named Willy Wonka wrote to Roald Dahl

He was a postman from Nebraska.

13. Roald Dahl was a giant!

Okay, not quite like the ones in his stories, but he was 6 foot 6 inches tall! This earned him the nickname ‘Lofty’ when he served in the RAF.

Which is your favourite Roald Dahl book? Let us know by leaving a comment, below!




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  • wow!

  • Zara b

    Nice facts and my favourite book is... The BFG

  • Elias

    George’s Marvellous Medicine, because it’s SO funny!

  • Ariya

    Esio Trot is my favourite, because it just is!

  • Nice!

  • envyanah

    i like it

  • hi


  • me like

    its very creative!

  • BFG, words

    thx for the facts


    I got the whole collection of Roald Dahl books yesterday, I've already read two and love them! My favourite is Matilda though!

  • Manaswita Singh

    My favorite book: The witches and Charlie and the chocolate factory

  • Tiger

    I all most read every book he has

  • Tiger

  • Tiger

  • Roald Dahl is so cool

    Thank you and very interesting

  • Jasmine

    i love roald dahl

  • hi hi

    very cool

  • ILoveElephants


  • Angela


  • Reuben

    The fantastic Mr fox

  • Eve Bareham Hill

    The Fantastic Mr Fox

  • Samuel

  • Alexamari8

    Ilove reading his books so much

  • Bob Lee

    He he

  • James and giant peach

  • Rashaad

  • summer

    wow i did not know that

  • Awesome

  • COOL!

  • lucia

    omg REALLY

  • CoolMonkeyBoyNotBorn

    hiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii coooooooooolllllllllllllll

  • Sophie

    My favourite book was the twits

  • Marceli


  • Lewis

    The twits

  • siraj