The life and legacy of 'The Fantastic Mr Dahl'

Think Roald Dahl and you will be instantly transported back to your childhood - to tales of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Matilda and The BFG.

But Dahl was so much more than the author we have come to know and love. He was a pilot, inventor and - some say - even a spy.

To mark the centenary of Roald Dahl’s birth in Cardiff, ITV Wales has been delving deep into the author’s Welsh roots, uncovering the life he led and the legacy he left behind.

Celebrations are taking place across Wales to celebrate the centenary of Dahl's birth Credit: ITV Wales

Born in Llandaff in 1916 , Roald Dahl was christened at the Norwegian Church in Cardiff Bay.

He later attended Llandaff Cathedral School, where he and his friends staged the famous, 'great and daring mouse plot' at Mrs Pratchett's sweet shop.

Roald Dahl Credit: PA

Strange to think of Dahl as a Cardiff boy and yet he is...Even though he spent only nine years of his life here, we know that his gardener took Dahl to watch Cardiff City play, so he did all the things that a Welsh boy would do.

Damian Walford Davies, Author ‘Roald Dahl: Wales of the Unexpected’

After leaving Wales and following the outbreak of World War Two, Dahl joined the Royal Air Force at the age of 23.

Posted to Libya, Dahl was severely injured when his fighter plane crashed in the western desert of north Africa.

No longer able to fly, the 26 year old returned to England, and after moving to the village of Great Missenden in Buckinghamshire, began writing the wonderful stories we know and love.

The hut in which Dahl wrote many of his famous children's stories Credit: ITV Wales

Throughout Dahl's incredible life, he was affected by serious illness and tragedy.

Following his death in 1990, his widow Felicity set up Roald Dahl's Marvellous Children's Charity, which continues to make life better for children in Wales and across the UK.

Roald Dahl's Marvellous Children's Charity continues to help children across Wales and the UK Credit: ITV Wales

Find out more about the life and legacy of 'The Fantastic Mr Dahl' tonight at 8pm on ITV Wales.

Catch up afterwards itv.com/walesprogrammes