Where has this talent been hiding?
Keep boredom at bay on long journeys or dull afternoons this summer with pages and pages of fiction, fantasy and fun
TV's Superstar victor looks to be having a riot as he is seen in his winning role for the first time - facing baton-wielding police.
From wooden pirates to brass chess pieces and Morph
His children's books have sold 60 million copies, generating a merchandise industry and Hollywood adaptations. But an appeal for £500,000 to restore Roald Dahl's garden shed has proved a plot twist too fantastical.
There's plenty of waterside fun to be had this summer.
Catch the last three dates in Birmingham Hippodromes's Six Summer Saturdays free programme of city-centre events, which runs until 13 August. Performances include street theatre, interactive brass bands, circus acts and acrobatics, as well as comedy and upside down painting (sixsummersaturdays.com).
Theatre is on a roll with Roald at the moment. The RSC's Matilda has just received a gong at the Critics' Circle Awards, the presenter fulsomely declaring it to be the best new British musical that he had witnessed in 27 years of reviewing. But this new stage version of some of the author's aimed-at-adults Tales of the Unexpected at the Lyric Hammersmith strikes me as more than a couple of shudders short of the full Dahl. I have only two problems with it. I hate the stories themselves and I find the theatrical adaptation of them largely spurious in the chills department.
With their tiny heroes and cruel villains, books by Roald Dahl never date
It sounds unlikely, but the late children's author Roald Dahl once received a death threat, according to his daughter, Lucy. She recalls returning from the theatre to her childhood home in Oxfordshire with her father, when her brother Theo picked up the anonymous, threatening phone call. Her father called the police immediately, but treated it "like a game", so as not to scare his children. "I really have no idea or recollection of its source. I do not remember being frightened," she adds. Speaking about the annual Roald Dahl Funny Prize, whose winners this year were Louise Rennison and Louise Yates, Dahl also revealed that she is working on a TV show, Nuclear Family, to be produced by NBC and Working Title, which will be based on her experiences as a mother of seven at the age of 32 (her husband had five children and she had two). "I got the idea when I was going through my stepson's backpack one day. It's a truthful, modern-day version of The Brady Bunch." It will include sex, drugs and plenty of teen spirit.
What began as a public service for blinded First World War veterans is now a major publishing success story
A mere 16 years ago, Jeremy Treglown wrote a well-reviewed biography of Roald Dahl. Yet Dahl's daughter Ophelia asked Donald Sturrock to do the job again – fulfilling a task her father had assigned her: to write his life story or appoint someone else. In a 2002 interview, Ophelia said Treglown's book portrayed her father as "a difficult, demanding, unpleasant old bugger... it didn't show his funny, kind side." This time the family, which granted access to letters and papers, also did not interfere. They asked only that Sturrock conveyed the man that he knew and liked. He has succeeded.
An affair with Gary Cooper and an abortion; a 30-year marriage to Roald Dahl culminating in the author's two-timing with her friend; three strokes, a three-week coma and enough chutzpah to compete with any of the malcontent men sharing her on- and off-screen lives. If anything epitomised the orbit of the actress Patricia Neal, who has died aged 84, it was that her real existence matched anything she performed in front of the camera.
It's August, school's out – but the sun might not be. There's a lot to see and do, but arts for children needn't be childish. Alice Jones and Miranda Kiek pick the best fare for the younger culture vulture
To celebrate 70 years of Puffin books the publisher has released a list of its 70 favourite children’s titles.
Costumes and hairpieces are no substitute for character