Padding­ton star Hugh hon­ours bear’s cre­ator

Daily Express - - LETTERS - By David Pilditch

HUGH Bon­neville yes­ter­day led trib­utes to Michael Bond, cre­ator of Padding­ton Bear, at a special me­mo­rial ser­vice.

Down­ton Abbey star Hugh, who ap­pears in both the hit films about the chil­dren’s story char­ac­ter, read mes­sages about the writer, who died in June aged 91, sent from around the world.

One said: “The gift of Padding­ton and all the other won­der­ful char­ac­ters he cre­ated will leave a legacy of sto­ries that will in­spire, charm and teach chil­dren about good manners for decades to come.”

An­other said: “I doubt I’d ever have be­come a teacher if it hadn’t been for Padding­ton Bear. His tips on hard stares par­tic­u­larly well.”

Padding­ton, the mar­malade­lov­ing bear, first ap­peared in a story in 1958.

Bond went on to write more than 200 books about the mis­chievous stow­away from Dark­est Peru, who is taken in by the Brown fam­ily in London. They sold 35 mil­lion copies.

Bon­neville, who again stars as Mr Brown in the new movie Padding­ton 2, was joined by Madeleine Har­ris and Sa­muel Joslin, who play his chil­dren in the film.

Bond’s fam­ily and friends were served me joined at the cer­e­mony at St Paul’s Cathe­dral by the ac­tor Stephen Fry, writer and broad­caster Gyles Bran­dreth as well as fel­low au­thors, book il­lus­tra­tors, teach­ers, and school­child­ren.

Also at­tend­ing was sculp­tor Mar­cus Cor­nish, whose Padding­ton statue stands in the sta­tion that in­spired the bear’s name.

Bond’s daugh­ter Karen Jankel told the congregation that Padding­ton was “so real” that it was re­garded as a mem­ber of their fam­ily.

Bond’s fi­nal book, to be pub­lished next year, is set in St Paul’s, in­spired by a visit he made to the cathe­dral last year to mark The Queen’s 90th birth­day.

Michael Bond with Padding­ton and right, Hugh Bon­neville yes­ter­day with Madeleine Har­ris and Sa­muel Joslin

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