Family and fans recall creator of Paddington
Tributes: Author as much-loved as his marmalade-loving bear
Michael Bond and his much-loved creation Paddington Bear have been remembered at a service at St Paul’s Cathedral.
Paddington star Hugh Bonneville read out messages from fans marking the life of the late British author from around the world.
And Bond’s daughter Karen Jankel led the tributes, describing her father as a “master of one-liners”, who could see the humour in any situation and had “a twinkle in his eye”.
Paddington was “so real”
“Women had an unfortunate tendency to fall in love with him”
that the bear was seen as a member of their family and “an extension of my father, which means he will always be with us,” she said.
Describing how Bond always signed his books for fans even when he could barely hold a pen, she said: “He respected his readers as much as they did him”.
Jankel said her father’s “friendly demeanour would melt the hardest of hearts”, and that “women had an unfortunate tendency to fall in love with him”.
“Despite this” he “only married twice” and Bond’s widow and his first wife were both at the service, as well as his grandchildren.
Bond’s publisher Ann- Janine Murtagh said his books “imbued deeply-held values of courtesy, kindness, justice, tolerance, hope and optimism ... often in the form of a small bear with a hard stare”.
Bonneville, who plays Mr Brown in the Padding- ton films, said: “As Stephen Fry put it, Michael was as kindly, dignified, charming and lovable as the immortal Paddington Bear he gave us”.
Fry said of the popularity of the bear: “It was the tension between the anarchy and catastrophe that he caused and the fact he was always dignified and on the side of right, of friendship, warmth and family, without being sentimental or nostalgic.”
The author penned more than 200 books before his death in June, aged 91. The bear from Peru, who ends up in London and is fond of keeping a marmalade sandwich under his hat, was his most famous literary creation.
Bond’s final book is due to be published next year.
FOND FAREWELL: Actors Madeleine Harris, Hugh Bonneville and Samuel Joslin give a reading during the service
Pocket bear tribute from an admirer at the memorial service