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Revealed: The sixth child in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

10th April 2014

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Here’s a revelation that will rock the foundations of your childhood – there was originally a SIXTH child set to enter Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory.

Yes, it’s true. Alongside Violet Beauregarde, Veruca Salt (and Mike Teavee, Augustus Gloop and of course our hero, good old Charlie Bucket) we were almost introduced to another right little madam.

Enter (or rather, don’t) Miss Miranda Mary Piker – “A little girl who is allowed to do anything she likes.”

Sounds a lot like Veruca to us.

Miranda Mary Piker is evident in the notes for Dahl’s fourth draft of his (possibly most famous?) novel, and she came very close to existence - according to the Roald Dahl Museum and Story Centre, which broke this revelatory news yesterday, the fifth draft became the book that we all know so very, very well.

According to the museum, which is located in Dahl’s hometown of Great Missenden in Buckinghamshire, Miranda Mary Piker was almost turned into Peanut Brittle during her ill-fated trip to the factory.

Roald Dahl, apparently, described her as “the filthiest, rudest and most disobedient creature you could imagine” - before he decided that six kids was really just too much and wrote her out of literary history.

Early drafts of the book had up to 15 children in possession of golden tickets, says the museum - but Miranda Mary Piker was the closest to being included in the final version.

And yes, she of course had her own Oompa-Loompa song to accompany her peanut butter-related demise...

"Oh, Miranda Mary Piker,
How could anybody like her,
Such a rude and disobedient little kid,
So we said why don't we fix her
In the Peanut-Brittle Mixer,
Then we're sure to like her better than we did.
Soon this girl who was so vicious
Will have gotten quite delicious
And her parents will have surely understood
That instead of saying, 'Miranda,
'Oh the beast we cannot stand her!'
They'll be saying, 'Oh, how tasty and how good!'"


We’re left wondering what would’ve happened if Miranda Mary Piker had been allowed through Willy Wonka’s vaulted doors. How would she have fared alongside Violet, Veruca et al? Would the dynamic of one of the world’s favourite children’s books have been different? Would Charlie and the Chocolate Factory even have achieved the level that of fame that it did?  

Why Miranda Mary Piker particularly was culled from the manuscript before being allowed to meet her own sticky situation within the Chocolate Factory’s hallowed walls has not been revealed. Maybe Roald Dahl just liked the symmetry of having his two bratty girl characters beginning with the letter V. Probably, we’ll never know.

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