Roald Dahl (13 September 1916 – 23 November 1990) was a British novelist, short-story writer, poet, screenwriter, and wartime fighter pilot. His books have sold more than 250 million copies worldwide.
Dahl was born in Wales to Norwegian immigrant parents. He served in the Royal Air Force during the Second World War. He became a fighter pilot and an intelligence officer, then becoming acting wing commander.
He started writing in the 1940s with works for children and for adults, and he became one of the world’s best-selling authors. He has been referred to as “one of the greatest storytellers for children of the 20th century”.
Dahl’s short stories are known for their unexpected endings, and his children’s books for their darkly comic mood, featuring adult enemies of the child characters. His books champion the kindhearted and feature an underlying warm sentiment. His works for children include James and the Giant Peach, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Matilda, The Witches, Fantastic Mr Fox, The BFG, The Twits, and George’s Marvellous Medicine. His adult works include Tales of the Unexpected.
Roald Dahl’s best-loved novels have been celebrated with a set of stamps.
You can meet all his characters here:
Over the next few weeks, Academy Award-winning filmmaker Taika Waititi will be reading James and the Giant Peach in full, across 10 episodes – and he’ll be joined by some rather famous faces along the way.