Charlie and The Chocolate Factory hero was meant to be black

Charlie and The Chocolate Factory hero was meant to be black”

He added: "Roald Dahl's stories stand the test of time so it's no wonder my kids love the BFG as much as I did!"

A favourite Roald Dahl character will feature in a special LEGO® celebration of the acclaimed children's author at the Giant's Causeway today.

Roald Dahl's biographer Donald Sturock told BBC Radio 4 that despite the author's intentions, Dahl's agent suggested the author change the race of Charlie in his book Charlie And The Chocolate Factory to white so as to not put audiences off.

Sturrock told Today that Dahl knew both the British and American sensibilities and had "a foot in both camps" - the reason, his widow said, behind Charlie Bucket's original ethnicity.

"It was his agent who thought it was a bad idea, when the book was first published, to have a black hero", said Sturrock.

"She said people would ask: 'Why?'"

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory was published in 1964, but Dahl came up with the idea for the story during his own childhood.

His first Charlie that he wrote about was a little black boy'.

Following backlash from the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), which objected to the slavery connotations of Wonka's unpaid workers, the second edition was modified to portray them as having "rosy-white" skin.

This new tidbit about Charlie and the Chocolate Factory's protagonist comes at an interesting time, as September 13, marks what would have been Dahl's 101 birthday.

The 1971 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory film-makers made the Oompa Loompa' skin colour orange.

In contrast, Dahl's widow said his first meeting Sir Quentin Blake, who illustrated his books, was altogether happier.

A wise man once said, "If you are going to get anywhere in life, you have to read a lot of books". "I was witnessing a rather fantastic union".

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