The Untold Story About Charlie & The Chocolate Factory
Liccy Dahl has revealed that her late husband Roald Dahl originally wrote the lead character of his beloved children's book Charlie and the Chocolate Factory to be 'a little black boy'
Despite the film versions as well as the original illustrations in the book that portrayed Charlie Bucket as white, Mrs Dahl claims that was never her late husband's intention.
Speaking on Radio 4's Today programme she said: 'His first Charlie that he wrote about was a little black boy, and I'm sure that was influenced by America.'
When questioned about why this was changed she replied: 'I don't know. It's a great pity.'
Dahl's biographer, Donald Sturrock, has suggested that Dahl's agent may have changed his mind.
He said: 'I can tell you that it was his agent who thought it was a bad idea, when the book was first published to have a black hero. She said people would ask why.'
When presenter Sarah Montague suggested that perhaps the story could now be rewritten to revert to a black character, Mrs Dahl responded: 'It would be wonderful wouldn't it?'
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory remains the biggest-selling book of Dahl's career, selling almost a million copies.