Facts About Ben Miller

Ben Miller is a comedian, actor, TV writer, and author from the UK. He is probably best known for being one half of the Armstrong and Miller comedy duo (with Alexander Armstrong), and for his popular children’s books.

Here are some facts about Ben Miller.

  • Ben Miller was born in London in 1966, and he was raised in Nantwich in Cheshire.
  • He went to university at St Catherine’s College, Cambridge. He studied Natural Sciences. He was in the same university theatre group as the actress Rachel Weisz.
  • Ben Miller began a PhD in solid-state physics, but he decided to pursue a career in comedy instead of completing his thesis.
  • In 1989 he joined Footlights (a Cambridge theatrical group) and worked with other soon-to-be-famous comedians such as Andy Parsons and Sue Perkins.
  • In 1994, Ben Miller and Alexander Armstrong performed their first full-length comdey show together at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.
  • The Armstrong and Miller TV comedy sketch show ran from 1997 to 2001.
  • In 2003, Ben Miller played the character Bough in the Johnny English movie. He returned to this role in 2018 for the movie Johnny English Strikes Again.
  • He starred as Detective Inspector Richard Poole in the Death in Paradise TV show.
  • Ben Miller was a guest star in a 2014 episode of Doctor Who. He played the Sheriff of Nottingham in an episode called the Robot of Sherwood.
  • He also appeared as King John in the sixth series of Horrible Histories (based on the books by Terry Deary).
  • Miller enjoys playing drums and guitars.
  • He is distantly related to Abraham Lincoln, the 16th US President.
  • Ben Miller’s first book for children was The Night I Met Father Christmas. It was published in 2018.
  • Other Ben Miller children’s books include The Boy Who Made the World Disappear, The Day I Fell into a Fairytale, How I Became a Dog Called Midnight, and Diary of a Christmas Elf.
  • Ben Miller is very keen on gadgets.
  • If he could time travel, he’d go back to the 17th century and see the beginning of science, and the court of Charles II.
  • He often loses his keys and his glasses.
  • He was didn’t get past the first round when he appeared on the celebrity edition of the game-show Pointless, called Pointless Celebrities.
  • Ben Miller played the role of Colonel Lancaster in the film Paddington 2.
  • The main characters in three of his books are based on his children. His daughter Lana is in The Day I Fell Into A Fairytale, his son Jackson is in The Night I Met Father Christmas, and his son Harrison is in The Boy Who Made the World Disappear.
  • One of his favourite places is Minchinhampton and Rodborough Commons because it has fantastic views of the River Severn. He also likes Cirencester Park and Costwold Water Park.
  • As a child, he enjoyed reading the Brothers Grimm fairytales because they were creepy.
  • He often doesn’t finish the books he starts reading. If he is not interested in what he’s reading after three chapters, he sets it aside and picks up a different book.
  • Both of Ben Miller’s parents were English teachers.
  • He first met Alexander Armstrong (the other half of the Alexander and Miller comedy duo) on a barge in Chiswick.
  • He enjoys writing in coffee shops. He often writes in Triple Two, the cafe on Cricklade Street in Cirencester.
  • He enjoys holidaying in Marrakech in Morocco.
  • Some of his favourite books include, Rumble in the Jungle by Norman Mailer, Relativity: The Special and General Theory by Albert Einstein, Your Inner Fish by Neil Shubin, Cooking for Geeks by Jeff Potter, Genome by Matt Ridley, Bad Science by Ben Goldacre, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain, King Arthur and His Knights of the Round Table by Roger Lancelyn Green, Serpentine by Philip Pullman.

Facts About Erin Hunter, the Author of the Warriors Books

Here are some facts about Erin Hunter, the author of the popular Warriors, Seekers, and Survivors book series.

  • Erin Hunter is a pen-name. She isn’t one person. In fact, more than five authors (Victoria Holmes, Kate Cary, Cherith Baldry, Inbali Iserles, Gillian Philip, Rosie Best and Tui T Sutherland), write under the pseudonym, Erin Hunter.
  • The original author of the Warriors series was Victoria Holmes. She lives in London but grew up on a farm in Berkshire, England. When a fan asks for a signed copy of an Erin Hunter books, it is usually signed by Victoria.
  • There are now over 100 books by Erin Hunter if you include the Manga titles, Super Editions and Ebook Exclusives.
  • The Warriors books tell the stories of four wildcat clans – Thunder Clan, Shadow Clan, Wind Clan and River Clan.
  • The authors have said that they draw inspiration from the works of Tolkien, J.K. Rowling, and William Shakespeare.
  • Many readers have compared the Warriors series to the Redwall series by Brian Jacques.
  • The Seekers series tells the tale of four bears cubs on their quest to find a new home.
  • The Survivors books are about a group of pet dogs who become a pack after they are separated from their owners by an earthquake.
  • The Bravelands series by Erin Hunter follows the adventures of a lion, baboon, and elephant as they find their place in the world and respond to the call of the wild.
  • All of the kitten characters in the Warriors books have names ending in kit. When they are apprentices, their names end with paw, and when they are fully grown, their names end with a prefix linked to their clan.
  • In a 2019 interview, Tui T. Sutherland revelaed how the Erin Hunter authors manage their collabortion. Victoria Holmes would come up with the idea for a new book and she would write a full outline. The outline was passed to Tui T. Sutherland (an editor at the publishers Harper Collins). Tui would have a story meeting with Victoria Holmes, and changes would be made to the book’s outline. The outline was then sent to one of the authors, usually Kate Cary or Cherith Baldry. Tui went on to write some of the books too.

[After the third Warriors book was completed] the storylines seemed almost to write themselves as the characters played out their dramas on their wooded stage, and I guess I figured that if the action excited me then it would probably excite a fair few other people as well

Victoria Holmes (2006)

Visit the Warriors website, or find out some more facts about famous authors,

Best Kids’ Books About The Great Fire of London

Here are some great books on the topic of The Great Fire of London for kids.

Please be aware that some of the links below go to Amazon UK. If you purchase items through these links, Primary Facts will receive a small commission (at no extra cost to you).



Fire of 1666

What next? Discover some interesting facts about The Great Fire of London, learn about Samuel Pepys, find out about the Monument to the Great Fire of London, or take a look at some Great Fire of London classroom displays.

Andy Stanton: Book Recommendations

Andy Stanton Book Recommendations

When he was a child, Andy Stanton (author of the Mr Gum books) enjoyed reading:

  • The Eighteenth Emergency by Betsy Byars
  • The Magic Faraway Tree, The Famous Five books, and the Mystery of the… series by Enid Blyton
  • Fantastic Mr Fox by Roald Dahl.

You can find out more about Andy Stanton by visiting his website.

Books Recommended By Children's Authors

Fantastic Mr Fox: Facts About the Roald Dahl Book

Here are some facts about Fantastic Mr Fox by Roald Dahl.

  • Fantastic Mr Fox was first published in the UK in 1970 by George Allen & Unwin, and in the US by Alfred A. Knopf.

  • It first came out in paperback in 1974.
  • Several artists have illustrated the different versions of Fantastic Mr Fox over the years, including: Quentin Blake, Tony Ross, Donald Chaffin and Jill Bennett.
  • In 2009, the book was made into a film directed by Wes Anderson, and featuring the voices of Bill Murray, Meryl Streep, George Clooney, Michael Gambon and Owen Wilson.
  • Fantastic Mr Fox has also been adapted for the stage and turned into an opera.
  • When Wes Anderson was writing the Fantastic Mr Fox movie script he spent a lot of time at Roald Dahl’s home in Buckinghamshire. Dahl’s widow allowed him to look at Dahl’s writing shed and the gypsy caravan he kept in his garden.

  • The book is said to have been inspired by the ‘Witches’ Tree’, an old tree that grew close to his home in Great Missenden. Roald Dahl always used to tell his children that a family of foxes lived under the tree, in a hole beneath the trunk. Unfortunately, the tree is no longer standing.
  • In the book, Mr and Mrs Fox aren’t given first names, but in the film version, Mrs Fox is called Felicity after Roald Dahl’s widow.
  • The pub that Roald Dahl used to drink in, ‘The Nag’s Head’, appears in the Fantastic Mr Fox movie.

What next? Discover more facts about Roald Dahl and his books.

Charles Kingsley: Facts and Information

Here are some facts about Charles Kingsley.

  • Charles Kingsely was born in Holne, Devon on 12 June 1819.

  • He studied at King’s College London and at Magdalene College, Cambridge.
  • Like his father, he decided to pursue a career in the church, and in 1844 he became the rector of Eversley, Hampshire.
  • In 1859, Charles Kingsley was made chaplain to Queen Victoria.

Charles Kingsley

  • In 1860 he became a professor of modern history at the Univeristy of Cambridge.
  • He was a member of the 1866 Edward Eyre Defence Committe with Charles Dickens, Alfred Lord Tennyson and others.
  • Many of his books are influenced by his interest in history. The Heroes, published in 1856, was a book on Ancient  Greek mythology, and Hypatia, Hereward the Wake and Westward Ho!, were all historical novels.
  • He was a supporter of Charles Darwin and he was sent an early copy of On the Origin of Species.
  • One of his most well-known works was The Water-Babies, A Fairy Tale for a Land Baby.
  • A village near Bideford, Devon was named Westward Ho! after Chrales Kingsley’s novel in an attempt to attract tourists to the area. It is the only UK place name to include and exclamation mark.
  • An animated film of The Water Babies was released in 1978 starring James Mason and Bernard Cribbins. It has also been adapted for the stage and turned into a radio play.
  • His final novel was Hereward the Wake, a story about the passing of the Anglo-Saxon age and the Norman invasion of  England.
  • He published more than thirty volumes of work ranging from novels to poetry, from history to religious articles.
  • Charles Kingsley died on 23 January 1875.

What now? Learn more about other famous authors, or discover facts about other famous Victorians.

The BFG: Facts About the Roald Dahl Book

Here are some facts about Roald Dahl’s The BFG.

  • BFG is an acronym for Big Friendly Giant.
  • The BFG was first published by Jonathan Cape in 1982.

  • The book was illustrated by Quentin Blake.
  • Roald Dahl dedicated the book to his daughter, Olivia, who died of in 1962 at the age of 7.
  • The book was turned into an animated TV movie in 1989. David Jason voiced the BFG.
  • In 2016, Stephen Spielberg directed a live-action movie adaptation starring Mark Rylance as the BFG.
  •  The character BFG first appeared in Danny, the Champion of the World as a character in a bedtime story told to Danny by his father.
  • In the first drafts of the story, the character of Sophie was called Jody. He changed the name, naming the character after his grand-daughter, Sophie Dahl.

  • The language spoken by the BFG is called gobblefunk. Roald Dahl created more than 200 words and phrases for the BFG to say.
  • Roald Dahl liked The BFG more than most of his other books.
  • The BFG’s shoes were based on Norwegian sandals worn by Roald Dahl.
  • It is thought that the BFG character was partly inspired by Roald Dahl’s builder, Wally Saunders.
  • The BFG has been adapted for the stage by David Wood.
  • The book has sold more than 35 million copies.