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Five Fascinating Facts about Roald Dahl

14th September 2019

Can’t wait another whole year for Roald Dahl day? Here are five fascinating facts about the world-famous author, to keep you going. 

Source: Collegio Brandolini-Rota.           

1. Dahl spied on American President FD Roosevelt, reporting his findings back to British prime Minister Winston Churchill

Dahl worked as an assistant air attaché at the British Embassy in the United States. He became friends with President Roosevelt, and would quiz him about his intentions, reporting his findings back to the British Government. to help the war effort. After a year and a half at the embassy he took on a more secretive role with Canadian spymaster William Stephenson, working for British Security Co-ordination in New York.

2. As well as writing fantastic children’s book Dahl wrote the screenplay (the script plus acting and scene directions) for Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.

He also wrote the screenplay for the James Bond film, You Only Live Twice. He found screenplays an easy way of making money, but preferred the challenge of writing books.


3. Dahl grew prize-winning orchids.

He was a keen gardener. He won awards for breeding Phalaenopsis orchids, and also 

grew enormous onions.


4. At Dahl’s grave in Great Missenden there are some giant footprints, as if the BFG has just popped by.

Among his many fabulous children’s books, Dahl used to say that the BFG was his favorite.


5. "Is there a doctor on board?"

Dahl was very interested in medicine and knew quite a bit about it. Indeed, once on a flight to Australia when the captain asked were there any doctors on board Dahl leapt up to help, until his wife Liccy restrained him.

Want to know more? Roald Dahl’s Marvellous Medicine is written by his doctor and friend Professor Tom Solomon (@RunningMadProf)

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