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- He was born on 13 September 1916, in Llandaff, Cardiff. His parents were Norwegian.
- He did not start writing for children until he had children of his own.
- He wrote all of his children's stories in a small hut at the bottom of his garden.
- He was a Hurricane fighter pilot during World War II.
- He had two steel hips and six operations on his spine.
- He wrote the screenplays for Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and the Bond movie You Only Live Twice.
- He originally wrote short stories for adults which were later published as Tales of the Unexpected.
- He loved chocolate, but not chocolate cake or chocolate ice cream.
- He always wrote in pencil on yellow paper.
- He died on 23 November 1990 and is buried in the churchyard of St Peter and St Paul's Church, Great Missenden.