Roald Dahl ‘wanted Charlie black’

The hero of Roald Dahl’s charlie and the Chocolate Factory was thought to be black, the author, his widow has revealed.

Liccy Dahl told BBC Radio 4’s Today program that her husband had written about a “little colored boy”.

But Dahl’s agent thought the idea of a naughty and insisted the character be changed, to something of Dahl’s widow, said was a “great sin”.

She said seeing the 1964 children’s book while her husband had intended “would be wonderful”.


The program of the interview with Mrs. Dahl and her husband’s biographer, Donald Sturrock, took place on the 101 anniversary of Dahl’s birth.

Sturrock said Today that Dahl knows both the English and American sensibilities and had “a foot in both camps” – the reason, his widow, said, behind Charlie Bucket original ethnicity.

“His first Charlie has written about, you know, was a little black boy,” he said. “I’m sure that was influenced by America.”

“It was his agent who thought it was a bad idea, when the book was published for the first time, to have a black hero,” said Sturrock. “He said:” People should ask why.'”

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Ms. Dahl has also revealed that her husband had not enjoyed the first Charlie and the Chocolate Factory film – the only film adaptation of his works made in the course of his life.

“Was not very happy with Charlie, the original with Gene Wilder,” he said of the film, released in 1971 as Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.

In contrast, Dahl’s widow has said that his first meeting Sir Quentin Blake, who illustrated his books, was quite happy.

“You knew from the start,” said Ms. Dahl. “I witnessed a rather amazing union”.

At the beginning of this year, it was announced that Dahl – whose birthday is celebrated ‘Roald Dahl Day’ – ‘ – will be played by Hugh Bonneville in a future biographical film.

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