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13 September 2016 is the birth centenary of one of the nation’s most beloved authors – Roald Dahl.  A writer, poet and screenwriter, he is probably best known for his ever popular children’s books such as Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, The BFG and Fantastic Mr Fox.  These tales weave magic, joy and comedy with the macabre and grotesque to appeal to both children and adults.  The same qualities characterised his screenwriting as well his autobiographical tales of childhood and youthful adventures.


Over the past few months there has been a wide range of programming celebrating the life of the writer and his work and this seems like a good time to provide a round-up of some of the material still available for use as a teaching resource.


Roald Dahl’s Most Marvellous Book  Channel 4, now available on 4OD

David Walliams presents a celebration of Roald Dahl’s children’s books, from The BFG to Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, including contributions from Steven Spielberg and Julie Walters.


Earlier this summer the BBC broadcast a selection of radio and television programmes to celebrate the author, his works and his life.  Some of these programmes are still available whether complete or in the form of clips.


Boy  BBC Radio Wales 13 September (rpt) and then available on iPlayer Radio

Patrick Malahide provides the voice of Dahl in a colourful adaptation by Lucy Catherine. From the BBC website:

“The story of Roald Dahl’s childhood is filled with excitement and wonder but also terror and great sadness. We learn of his experiences at cruel boarding schools, his daring Great Mouse Plot, the dangers of Boazers, the pleasure/pain of the local sweetshop and his time as a chocolate taster. Just some of the marvellous, extraordinary events that no doubt went on to inspire his best-selling books.”


The Essay: Roald Dahl at 100  BBC Radio 3 now available on iPlayer Radio

“Roald Dahl at 100 is a celebration of the storyteller’s work and legacy. Five acclaimed writers, the screenwriter and children’s novelist, Frank Cottrell Boyce; the screenwriter and co-creator of The League of Gentleman, Jeremy Dyson; the author and performance poet, Laura Dockrill; the writer and former children’s laureate, Michael Rosen, and the biographer Donald Sturrock, explore their passion for Dahl’s dazzling worlds, his dark humour and wild language and how it inspired their own work.”


Programme Name: The Marvellous World of Roald Dahl - TX: n/a - Episode: n/a (No. n/a) - Picture Shows: wearing RAF flying hat, Nairobi, 1939. **THIS IMAGE IS TO BE USED FOR THE PURPOSE OF PUBLICISING 'THE MARVELLOUS WORLD OF ROALD DAHL' ONLY** Roald Dahl - (C) Roald Dahl Nominee Limited - Photographer: Unknown
Courtesy BBC Pictures

The marvellous World of Roald Dahl originally broadcast on 5 August on BBC2

now only available through a selection of clips on the BBC website including:

The BFG’s whoopsy wiffling special language

A clip in which Lucy Dahl explains how her mother’s stroke became the inspiration for Roald Dahl’s invented vocabulary for The BFG.

Quentin Blake

Quentin talks from the heart about Roald while illustrating his unique and touching observations