Beloved children's writer Roald Dahl was honored by day named for him, but his granddaughter managed to spark a bit of anger when she asked radio listeners to help foot the bill for moving his writing shed where he wrote Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.
Model and writer Sophie Dahl appeared on BBC Radio 4's Today, and during her interview, she launched a public appeal to help save the famous Roald Dahl garden shed. She asked listeners to help raise Â£500,000 to move it from his garden in Buckinghamshire, south England, safely to a museum where it would be preserved for future generations to enjoy. That was the wrong thing to say on her grandfather's special day.
Of the shed, Sophie said, "It's in a bit of a state, poor little hut. It needs help. We are trying to raise half a million pounds ($790,000), which sounds like a great deal of money to move the interior of a little hut but it's quite a process."
Of course, with the economy being what it is, listeners also need help, and they were not at all thrilled to be asked to help foot the bill for the writer's famous shed given the fact that his granddaughter has so much money herself. Also, some of them felt that Roald Dahl Day was literally ruined by the request.
BBC Radio 4 handled a barrage of complaints about the interview, and other listeners simply took to social media to express their outrage. One listener tweeted, "I love a bit of Roald Dahl. But being asked by his millionaire granddaughter to stump up for his shed being moved takes the Wonka biscuit."
While it is shocking that the rich family, which still receives royalties from Roald Dahl's many popular books that include Fantastic Mr Fox, Matilda, The Witches, and The Big Friendly Giant, it seems unlikely that Sophie Dahl realized she would set off such a firestorm of distaste by her request. Perhaps now that the family is aware, maybe they will help with the move using some of the millions of pounds they have as a result of Dahl's amazing children's books.
What do you think? Should the Dahl family pay for the preservation of the famous garden shed, or were they right to solicit donations? Why on earth did they let the hut fall into such disrepair in the first place?
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