Paddington Bears’ Creator Sad Goodbye
When Mr Brown first caught sight of Paddington Bear he was wearing a label that said, “ Look after this bear, he’s from deepest darkest Peru.” Who knew that this wonderful charming bear with his iconic duffle coat, floppy hat and marmalade sandwiches would become such a delightful part of so many childhoods? The brilliant British author, Michael Bond was born in Newbury, Berkshire, in 1926, and kept writing until his death. His most recent Paddington story, Paddington’s Finest Hour, was published earlier in this year.
Loved by many, Bond seems to have been just like his delightfully optimistic character Paddington Bear. Taking inspiration from his own father, who Bond remembered in a recent interview, as a well-mannered gentlemen whom liked to be smart and wear a hat as “ you never know whom your going to meet” Michael Bond created Paddington bear. Working in his spare time in just a few weeks, Bond created this wonderful charismatic character, giving him his fathers’ hat and his own favourite original duffle coat that he always wore to work and charming Bear became an instant success.
Today Paddington is not only rooted in children’s hearts around the world from the sale of millions of books, but he is also immortalised in a statue at Paddington Train Station and is now a Hollywood movie star. As the original manufactures of the Duffle coat, Montgomery Duffle were delighted to provide Paddington’s iconic duffle coat for his latest blockbuster movie Paddington 2, which is due to be released later this year. We feel truly honoured to be part of Paddington’s story. There is a kindly, charming and iconic Britishness about him that you just can’t help but love.
His daughter, Karen Jankel, said in a recent interview “the whole world” was lucky to have had her father, whose legacy would “live on for ever” through his creation, she continued, “It’s a shock to everybody. For me, he was the most wonderful father you can imagine, so obviously our loss is personal. But it’s wonderful that he’s left the legacy of his books and Paddington that will live on forever, which is really very special’’
“The whole world is lucky to have had him … Paddington himself is so real to all of us. He’s still a part of our family and we’re very lucky.”
For Michael Bond, writing was his life and it’s truly wonderful that he continued with that passion for writing right until the end. ‘’You can tell just by reading his books what a lovely person he was. I never came across anybody who disliked my father. He was one of those people that people instinctively warmed to and he was as funny as a person and delightful as he was in his writing and as a father’’.
Hugh Bonneville, who plays Mr Brown in the film adaptation and its sequel, set for release later this year, said in a statement: “It seems particularly poignant that we should learn of dear Michael Bond’s death on the last day of shooting our second film about his unique, loveable creation.
“In Paddington, Michael created a character whose enthusiasm and optimism has given pleasure to millions across the generations.”
Michael Bond is remembered just like his beloved bear. Charming, funny, truly loved. He will be greatly missed but he leaves behind a very special and delightful legacy; long live the wonderful bear from darkest Peru.