Roald Dahl’s writing hut

I’m delighted to have rediscovered this footage of Roald Dahl at work in his writing hut. Though it was first shown on Pebble Mill at One in 1982 – too early for me to have seen on original broadcast – it must have been reused later, perhaps on Blue Peter, perhaps in around 1988, when I was 8. Anyway, the image of Dahl in his hut has always remained the defining image of a writer in my mind, and even when I was young the idea of hiding away to write was tantalising. For whatever reason, the electric pencil sharpener at arm’s reach was always the most memorable element of Dahl’s cosy setup. One of these days I’ll get one myself, despite the fact that I always write on screen.

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