13 phizz-whizzing facts about Roald Dahl
We’ve put together some fantastic facts about Roald Dahl’s life, and boy are there some humdingers…
13th September 2016 marks what would have been Roald Dahl’s 100th 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…
Roald 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
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!
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.
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.