Anglia Television anthology series Tales of the Unexpected first aired
in th UK on March 24 1979 and since then has been sold to more than 70 countries.
When the series was launched, it proved to be the most popular drama that Anglia
Television had produced up to that time.
initial £1.5 million contract to produce a series of twist-in-the-tale stories
written by Roald Dahl was the result of a serendipitous meeting between Dahl and
the film producer Sir John Woolf at a Christmas party in 1976.
Dahl & Friends
Television had approached Sir John Woolf (producer of films such as
The African Queen, The Odessa File and The Day of the Jackal)
to develop for television a drama series which would appeal not only to British
audiences, but also internationally.
of the Unexpected was produced from 1979 until 1984, with each episode running
for 30 minutes. Roald Dahl hosted the show for the first two seasons. The producer
of the show is John Rosenburg, and the executive producer is John Woolfe. The
dancer in the iconic opening title sequence is Karen
Standley, with the original theme music by Ron Grainer.
early episodes which were adapted originally from Roald Dahl's own output of short
stories attracted many famous Guest Stars, such as Sir John Gielgud, Elaine Stritch,
Sir John Mills, Sir Derek Jacobi, Janet Leigh, Siobhan McKenna, Timothy West,
Brian Blessed and Peter Bowles.
Dahl introduced all his own stories; in the form of brief monologues, Dahl explains
to the viewer his inspiration for a particular story. When all Roald Dahl's work
had been exausted, other authors' stories were adapted for the series, which became
Tales of the Unexpected - Introduced by Roald Dahl.