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Sophie Dahl (born Sophie Holloway; 15 September 1977) is an English author and former fashion model. Born in London, she is the daughter of actor Julian Holloway and writer Tessa Dahl. Her maternal grandparents were author Roald Dahl and American actress Patricia Neal. Her paternal grandparents were actor Stanley Holloway and actress and chorus dancer Violet Lane. Sophie Dahl was the inspiration for Sophie, the main character in her maternal grandfather's book The BFG.
Dahl made her modelling debut on the catwalk of Lainey Keogh's first major show, in London Fashion Week for Autumn 1997. Keogh had asked various personal friends, including Dahl, to model for the show, alongside established models such as Naomi Campbell and Helena Christensen. This led to Dahl being discovered by Isabella Blow, then a Vogue stylist, who introduced her to Sarah Doukas of the Storm Model Agency in London. Dahl appeared in campaigns for Versace, Alexander McQueen, Patrick Cox, Pringle, Cashmere, Godiva, Banana Republic, and Gap, among others. Dahl worked with numerous iconic photographers, including Richard Avedon, David Bailey, Peter Lindbergh, Bruce Weber, Steven Klein and Steven Meisel. Over the course of her career, she appeared in many editorials for high fashion magazines such as Visionaire, French and German Vogue, W, ID and V magazine. In 1997 she appeared with Kate Moss in the Elton John music video "Something About the Way You Look Tonight". In 2000, Dahl became the face of Yves Saint-Laurent's Opium. The ad, art directed by Tom Ford and shot by Steven Meisel was a photograph of Dahl with cherry red hair posing nude on black satin. It was removed from UK billboards after complaints were made to the Advertising Standards Authority.
Dahl has written extensively for British Vogue, and in 2010, she won a Jasmine award for her regular Vogue column about scent. She has also written for, amongst others, US Vogue, Harpers Bazaar, The Observer, The Guardian, and The Saturday Times.
In 2003 Dahl published her first book, an illustrated novella and Times bestseller, The Man with the Dancing Eyes. After this she began writing regularly for publications such as American Vogue, The Guardian, The Telegraph, The Observer and the Saturday Times. From 2005 Dahl was a contributing editor and regular columnist at Men's Vogue, prior to its closure in 2008. Dahl is the author of three other books: Playing with the Grown-Ups (2008) and two cook books, Miss Dahl's Voluptuous Delights (2009) and From Season To Season (American edition: Very Fond of Food.) (2011). She was a contributor to an anthology, Truth or Dare edited by Justine Picardie, which included works by Zoë Heller and William Fiennes. She also provided introductions to the Puffin Classic new edition of The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett, and the Virago Press re-issue of Stella Gibbons' 1938 novel Nightingale Wood, which was released in April 2009, and Nancy Mitford's "Don't Tell Alfred", reissued by Penguin in March 2010.
In March and April 2010, her six-part cookery series entitled The Delicious Miss Dahl, which Dahl wrote and presented, was broadcast on BBC 2. She also wrote and presented a television programme about the Victorian cook, Isabella Beeton which was transmitted on BBC2 on 29 September 2011.
She is the daughter of actor Julian Holloway and writer Tessa Dahl. Her maternal grandparents were author Roald Dahl and actress Patricia Neal and her paternal grandparents were actor Stanley Holloway and former chorus dancer Violet Lane.
On 9 January 2010 she married singer Jamie Cullum. On 2 March 2011, Dahl and Cullum had their first child, a daughter named Lyra, followed by a second daughter, Margot, who was born on 4 March 2013. The couple live in Great Missenden, Buckinghamshire, which was the home village of Sophie's grandfather Roald Dahl.