Fam­ily and fans re­call cre­ator of Padding­ton

Au­thor as much-loved as his mar­malade-lov­ing bear

The Press and Journal (Moray) - - NEWS - BY SHERNA NOAH

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 Michael Bond and his fa­mous char­ac­ter 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

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