Chitty Chitty Back Back

The flying car will return in a new trilogy

It’s one of those pub quiz favourites – “who wrote Chitty Chitty Bang Bang ?” The somewhat surprising answer (unless you do as many pub quizzes as we do) is James Bond creator Ian Fleming, who published the novel Chitty Chitty Bang Bang: The Magical Car in 1964. (Interestingly, the script for the more famous musical film was by children’s author Roald Dahl who later wrote the script for the Bond movie You Only Live Twice – another fact worth remembering for those pub quizzes).

Anyway, having improved your chances on In It To Win It or whatever, onto the point of this post. Chitty Chitty Bang Bang will return (see what we did there) in Chitty Flies Again , the first of a new trilogy of Chitty novels being written by Millions author Frank Cottrell Boyce. In the new book the flying car makes a return alongside a modern family who are descended from the family in the original story.

The first in the trilogy will be published by Macmillan Children’s Books on 4 November. Cottrell Boyce was approached by the Fleming family to write the story.

Says Cottrell Boyce: “The Chitty Chitty Bang Bang book is distinctive from most children’s classics because the whole family goes on the adventure, not just the children, and all my books tend to be about family, which may be why they asked me to write it.”

The new story is about a family where the father has been made redundant and sets about trying to reconstruct a VW Camper Van. He unwittingly uses the original Chitty Chitty Bang Bang engine for the camper van, but over the course of the book Chitty Chitty Bang Bang is reassembled and restored to its former glory.

CottrellBoyce has created his own super-villain, descended from the baddie Man-Mountain Fink in the original book. “He is the best super-villain ever and I hope he will have the same unnerving and eerie quality as the Child Catcher. It’s been the most enjoyable writing experience ever, partly because I knew I had this safety net – the car is a great idea – and I could play with the Bond heritage as well; a fantastic car, lots of action and a really great villain.”