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The Genius of Roald Dahl

Format: 1 x 48
Broadcaster(s):  ITV
Available in HD

Roald Dahl is the one of the most successful children’s authors of all time. His words weave magical worlds of incomparable sparkle; his characters continue to charm and terrify generations. Superstar comedian and best-selling author David Walliams delves into Dahl’s world, meeting along the way those who knew him best.

A children’s writer himself, David believes that he will never be better than Roald Dahl.  To try and understand the great author’s special touch, David immerses himself in the stories and characters in Dahl’s books, and traces some of the influences on his work from his dramatic, tragedy worn life. In Cardiff, Dahl’s birthplace, David finds out about the Norwegian folktales that Dahl was read as a child, and how they may have shaped his storytelling. He visits Dahl’s old sweetshop and school, where naughtiness and rebellion marked the writer out as a child.

David meets Dahl’s widow at the family home, and talks to long time illustrator Quentin Blake as he draws a Dahl villain. He absorbs himself in the atmosphere of Dahl’s legendary writing hut, where the master craftsman locked himself away, like Willy Wonka in his factory. David also discovers Dahl’s teenage letters and early drafts of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, which reveal clues to how Dahl created his fantastical worlds. With contributions from celebrities including Joanna Lumley, Michael Rosen, Tim Minchin, let Walliams guide you into the magical yet largely unknown world of perhaps "the greatest children's storyteller of the 20th Century".


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