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Today, is the birthday of Roald Dahl which is also Roald Dahl Day – a day of celebration of the world’s greatest story teller.

First published:
13 September 2016
Last updated:

This was published under the 2016 to 2021 administration of the Welsh Government

This year, Wales has been participating in activities and event throughout the year as 2016 marks the centenary of Roald Dahl’s birth.

Economy and Infrastructure Secretary, Ken Skates will mark the day by officially unveiling the Enormous Crocodile bench which has been installed in Cardiff Bay. The project was partly funded through Visit Wales’ Regional Tourism Engagement Fund. 

Led by Cardiff Council, the project was awarded £31,000 of RTEF funding to create a lasting tribute for children and families to enjoy for years to come, embracing the author’s sense of fun and mischief, by relating to one of his best known short stories ‘The Enormous Crocodile’.  The Cabinet Secretary will be joined by children from Albert Primary School in Penarth who are dressing up to celebrate Roald Dahl Day, as well as by some unexpected guests from the City of the Unexpected cast which is gearing up to take Cardiff by surprise on 17 and 18 September.

The Cabinet Secretary said: 

“Roald Dahl was the master of the unexpected - the inspired imagination of the world’s greatest storyteller conjured up a host of astonishing characters.  Roald Dahl is a truly international figure - Norwegian heritage, born in Wales, first success in the USA; and ultimately a world-icon. However he is not immediately thought of as being from Wales – which is something we’ve shouting about this year! 

“The Roald Dahl 100 celebrations coincide with ‘Wales: Year of Adventure’ which is a perfect fit with such a great ambassador for adventure.   This year we’ve been remembering - and learn anew, how Roald Dahl used the landscapes, stories and heritage of the land of his birth as inspiration for a generation of stories for adults and children that take the reader on a memorable series of journeys.  

“I’m delighted to unveil this installation today which will be in Cardiff Bay for years to come as reminder, in keeping with a spirit of fun, surprise and mischief,  of Roald Dahl’s connection with Cardiff and Wales.  We now look forward to further unexpected happenings during the City of the Unexpected next weekend.

“Our programme of celebration has given people throughout Wales a chance to get to know Dahl better and to celebrate through song, music, dance and of course -  reading and writing.”

Cabinet Member Community Development, Co-operatives and Social Enterprise, Cllr Peter Bradbury said: 

“I am sure children will have great fun clambering over this crocodile but it also provides a great place to sit down and admire the view. As a Council we are proud to be part of this year’s celebrations around the centenary of the birth of Roald Dahl, arguably the most famous person to have been born in the city. This new attraction is just a stone’s throw away from the Norwegian Church and is yet another visible reminder of the author’s connection to Cardiff. But I do warn children not to get too close to the Enormous Crocodile’s sharp teeth!”

Lleucu Siencyn, Chief Executive of Literature Wales, said: 

“Roald Dahl appeals to all ages and demographics, and his work is universal - it champions the underdog and celebrates the unconventional. His books allow us to believe that anything is possible no matter who you are or where you were born. 

Our core belief at Literature Wales is that literature is for everyone and can be found everywhere. From Anglesey to Abergavenny, Caernarfon to Caerphilly, Newtown to Newport, this has been, and will continue to be, a truly Wales-wide celebration. We have reintroduced Roald Dahl to people of all ages in a way that allows them to engage with his work using their own creativity and imagination. Reading is one of the most magical acts – as soon as you open a book you are transported to a new world of adventure and imagination. Roald Dahl belongs to all of us – and this year, you can find him everywhere.”