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Centipede

"Well, James, have you ever in your life seen such a marvellous colossal Centipede as me?" James and the Giant Peach

The Centipede in James and the Giant Peach is a pest. But he is very proud of being a pest. He has 42 legs and wears a lot of shoes, which he asks James to help him remove at the end of that first day inside the Peach. He's also a jolly fellow who enjoys a joke, a song - and a little bit of teasing of poor old Earthworm...

In 1996 an animated film version of Roald Dahl's original story was released, with Richard Dreyfuss voicing the Centipede.

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Earthworm

"'I am not a slimy beast,' the Earthworm said. 'I am a useful and much loved creature. Ask any gardener you like.'" - James and the Giant Peach

The Earthworm appears in Roald Dahl's first famous book for children, James and the Giant Peach. He is one of a number of creatures James Henry Trotter meets aboard the Giant Peach.

He is a pretty morose creature - as the Ladybird tells James, "'He hates to be happy. He is only happy when he is gloomy. Now isn't that odd? But then, I suppose just being an Earthworm is enough to make a person pretty gloomy, don't you agree?'"

James is quick to point out the Earthworm's good points, though, later telling an audience of New Yorkers: "'He would be absolutely grand for digging subway tunnels and for making you a sewer.'"

The 1996 film version of James and the Giant Peach featured the voice of David Thewlis as the Earthworm.

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Glow-worm

"'She isn't really a worm at all. Glow-worms are never worms. They are simply lady fireflies without wings.'" - James and the Giant Peach

This is what the Centipede tells James Henry Trotter after he points out that the Glow-worm doesn't actually look like a worm at all, in Roald Dahl's early children's story James and the Giant Peach.

She might spend a lot of her time sleeping, but the Glow-worm provides the main source of light for James and his friends aboard the Giant Peach. As James says later, "...although this smacks a bit of eccentricity, it's really rather clever."

In the 1996 partially animated film version of James and the Giant Peach, Miriam Margolyes - who had also played Aunt Sponge - voiced the Glow-worm.

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Ladybird (or Ladybug)

"'The number of spots that a Ladybird has is simply a way of showing which branch of the family she belongs to. I, for example, as you can see for yourself am a Nine-Spotted Ladybird.'" - James and the Giant Peach

The Ladybird (or Ladybug, as she is known in North American editions of the book and in the 1996 film, where the character is voiced by actress Jane Leeves) appears in Roald Dahl's first famous children's story, James and the Giant Peach.

She is a great friend to James during his adventures aboard the Peach, and her kind personality causes James to call her his "greatest comfort since this trip began." She has nine spots upon her wings - and four hunderd children...

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Miss Spider

"I am not loved at all. And yet I do nothing but good. All day long I catch flies and mosquitoes in my webs. I am a decent person." - Miss Spider, in James and the Giant Peach

Poor old Miss Spider. She's such a helpful creature, and yet as she tells James in Roald Dahl's James and the Giant Peach, spiders just aren't treated right. She even has to witness her poor old father being flushed down the plug-hole by James's horrible Aunt Sponge.

She's a good friend to James, though, and - along with the Silkworm - it is her incredible thread that helps get them out of a sticky situation aboard the Peach. 

In the 1996 animated film adaptation of James and the Giant Peach, Miss Spider was voiced by Susan Sarandon.

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Old-Green-Grasshopper

"'Young fellow,' he said, speaking in a deep, slow, scornful voice, 'I have never been a pest in my life. I am a musician.'" James and the Giant Peach

The Old-Green-Grasshopper is a wise old creature who feels that his musical skills are unappreciated inside the Giant Peach, but he takes a liking to young James Henry Trotter and keeps a fatherly eye on him throughout the story.

Roald Dahl's original story of James and the Giant Peach was first published in 1961. In 1996, an animated film adaptation of the story was released, with Simon Callow voicing the character of The Old-Green-Grasshopper.

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Silkworm

"On the floor over in the far corner, there was something thick and white that looked as though it might be a Silkworm. But it was sleeping soundly and nobody was paying any attention to it." - James and the Giant Peach

The Silkworm is one of the creatures James Henry Trotter meets aboard the Giant Peach in Roald Dahl's first famous children's story, James and the Giant Peach. Although she says little, she is an invaluable member of the Peach's crew: without her quickly-spun silk, James's plan to rescue the Peach from the threatening sharks might never have worked.

Towards the end of the story, James reveals another piece of information about the Silkworm: apparently, she had the honour of sewing Queen Elizabeth II's wedding dress. 

The Silkworm did not feature in the 1996 animated film version of James and the Giant Peach - in the film, Miss Spider was the sole provider of the silk that helped rescue the Peach.

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