The Bucks Free Press has unearthed an interview believed to be between two beloved comic fantasy writers, both of whom lived in Bucks.

Letters between the late Sir Terry Pratchett, who was born in Beaconsfield and famously worked at the Bucks Free Press when he was 17-years-old, and Roald Dahl, appear on the official website for Mr Dahl.

The letter from Sir Terry, on BFP letter headed paper, requests an interview with Mr Dahl, with the former writing: “As an admirer of your work – both the short stories and the children’s books – I would like, if possible, to visit you at some time in the near future to write a feature for my newspaper.”

Mr Dahl, who lived in Great Missenden for more than 35 years until his death in 1990, replied: “Dear Mr Pratchett. If you would phone me any day around 12.30, I will see if we can arrange a meeting.”

Mr Dahl’s official website concludes: “Other than the small glimpse these letters give... we have no other information, so tantalisingly we don’t know if a meeting ever took place.”

However Marc Burrows, who recently wrote a major biography on Sir Terry’s life, said the interview did go ahead – and it did not appear in the BFP, nor did it have Sir Terry’s byline.

The interview appeared on May 21, 1969, with Mr Burrows saying Sir Terry was actually writing features in the BFP’s then-sister title Midweek Free Press, under the pseudonym ‘Marcus’.

Bucks Free Press: The article published in the May 21, 1969 edition of the Midweek Free PressThe article published in the May 21, 1969 edition of the Midweek Free Press

In the interview Sir Terry and Mr Dahl cover everything, from the author’s books Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, the then-recently published Penguin edition of ‘Kiss Kiss’ – a collection that first appeared in 1959 – to when his writing career started and what his hobbies were.

Mr Dahl, then aged 53, told Sir Terry – or ‘Marcus’ – at the time: “The purpose of a writer like me is to entertain, purely and simply. There is no message behind it except the usual underlying one that any writer tries to get through, which is that some people are very nasty and some are very nice.

“But basically, one is an entertainer, which is what a lot of fiction writers forget – and they become moralists.”

The pair also discussed when Mr Dahl’s career began – in 1942 when he went to Washington as Assistant Air Attache.

He was asked to recount his most his most exciting wartime experience to C. S. Forester, who interviewed Squadron Leader Dahl for the Saturday Evening Post, and instead, Mr Dahl wrote it down. The Post accepted it without alterations and asked for more. Mr Dahl then wrote more than a dozen stories about flying, all of which were published by a major American magazine.

Mr Dahl also spoke in the interview with Sir Terry about raising “exquisite” orchids in a large greenhouse, as well as the art of writing.

He concluded: “I don’t think it would be important of short stories disappeared, or if the novel and pictures disappeared.

“Not important – just a pity, that’s all.”