"Those who don't believe in magic will never find it."

As we continue to celebrate Roald Dahl this week, to mark his 100th birthday, we thought we'd have a look at the inspiration behind some of his most famous books and characters.

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
When arriving at Willy Wonka's Inventing Room, Charlie describes:

"Black metal pots were boiling and bubbling on huge stoves, and kettles were hissing and pans were sizzling, and strange iron machines were clanking and spluttering, and there were pipes running all over the ceiling and walls, and the whole place was filled with smoke and steam and delicious rich smells."

Dahl took his inspiration for this room from school. He attended Repton School near Derby from 1929 until 1934 when he was 18. Whilst at the school he and his classmates were sent a number of Cadbury's newest chocolate inventions, every year, to test out.

They would arrive in plain packaging but were always delicious, and the boys were invited to share their thoughts on the chocolate. The experience made Roald imagine the incredible factories where such delights must have been invented.

Fantastic Mr Fox
The foxes home in this much loved novel was shaped by a huge tree which grew outside Roald's home, Gipsy House, in Great Missenden.

Dahl moved to the house after he married American actress Patricia Neal, in 1954 and they remained there for the duration of their marriage.

The BFG
The brave and resourceful Sophie in The BFG, who is snatched from her orphanage bedroom and ultimately helps the loveable BFG outwit the other horrible, terrifying, giants, was named after Roald's first grandchild, Sophie Dahl.

The BFG actually first appeared in Danny, the Champion of the World, in a bedtime story Danny's father told him.

The Gremlins
Dahl's first official story aimed at children was written in 1943. It was called The Gremlins and was inspired by his time as a pilot in the RAF based on some RAF folklaw.

Superstition had it that these little creatures ran around tampering with aircraft and causing mechanical problems. It later became the inspiration behind Spielberg's 1984 film "Gremlins".

So there you have it, inspiration can come from just about anywhere, you just need to look for it.
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