Paddington Station: Bronze statue of
is a fictional character
in children's literature
. He first
appeared on 13 October 1958 and was subsequently featured in
several books, most recently in 2008, written by Michael Bond
and first illustrated by Peggy Fortnum
.The polite immigrant bear from Darkest
Peru , with his old bush hat, battered suitcase and
marmalade sandwiches has become a classic English children's
Paddington books have been translated into
thirty languages across seventy titles and sold more than 30
million copies worldwide. Over 265 licenses, making thousands of
different products across the UK, Europe, USA, Southeast Asia,
Japan, Australia and South Africa all benefit from the universal
recognition of Paddington Bear.
Paddington is an anthropomorphised
. He is always polite (always addressing
people as "Mr.", "Mrs." and "Miss" and very rarely by first names)
and well-meaning (though he inflicts hard stares on those who incur
his disapproval). He likes marmalade
, and has an endless capacity for getting
into trouble. However, he is known to "try so hard to get things
right". He is an adoptive member of the (human) Brown family, and
thus gives his full name as Paddington Brown
Paddington Bear on a lone teddy bear he
noticed on a shelf in a London store near
Station on Christmas Eve 1956,
which he bought as a present for his wife.
The bear inspired
Bond to write a story, and in ten days, he had written the first
book. The book was given to his agent, Harvey Unna. A Bear
was first published on 13 October 1958, by
William Collins & Sons (now Harper
The toy Paddington Bear
Paddington Bear was created by Gabrielle Designs in 1972, a small
business run by Shirley and Eddie Clarkson, with the prototype made
as a Christmas present for their children Joanna and Jeremy Clarkson (English broadcaster
Shirley Clarkson dressed Paddington in Wellington boots
to help the bear stand
upright. (Paddington received wellingtons for Christmas in
Paddington Marches On
, 1964.) The earliest bears wore
small children's boots manufactured by Dunlop
until their production could not meet
demand. Gabrielle Designs then produced their own boots with paw
prints moulded into the soles.
Shirley Clarkson's book describes the evolution of the toy
Paddington from Christmas gift to subject of litigation and
ultimately commercial success.
first story, Paddington is found at Paddington
railway station in London by the Brown
family, sitting on his suitcase (bearing the label "WANTED ON
VOYAGE") with a note attached to his coat which reads, "Please look
after this bear.
Thank you." Bond has said that his memories
of newsreels showing trainloads of child
leaving London during the war, with labels around
their necks and their possessions in small suitcases, prompted him
to do the same for Paddington.
arrived as a stowaway coming from "Darkest Peru", sent by
his Aunt Lucy (one of his only known relatives, aside from an Uncle
Pastuzo who gave Paddington his hat), who has gone to live in the
Home for Retired Bears in Lima.
claims, "I came all the way in a lifeboat, and ate marmalade. Bears
like marmalade." He tells them that no one can understand his
Peruvian name, so the Browns decide to call him Paddington after
the railway station in which he was found. Bond originally wanted
Paddington to have "traveled all the way from darkest Africa
", but his agent advised him that there were no
bears in darkest Africa, and thus it was amended to darkest Peru,
home of the spectacled bear
him home to 32 Windsor Gardens, off Harrow Road between Notting Hill and Maida
Vale. The stories follow Paddington's adventures
and mishaps in England.
When he gets annoyed with someone, he often gives them one of his
special "hard stares" (taught to him by Aunt Lucy), which causes
the person to become flushed and embarrassed.
There is a recurring cast of characters, all of whom are in some
way implicated by Paddington's misadventures. These include:
- Mr. Brown (Henry): A friendly and often
ineffectual city worker.
- Mrs. Brown (Mary): Mr. Brown's equally
- Jonathan and Judy: The energetic and friendly
Brown children. It is never established if one is older than the
other, leading to the perception that they are twins.
- Mrs. Bird: The Browns' stern, but ultimately
- Mr. Gruber: Owner of an
antique shop on the Portobello Road, with whom Paddington has his elevenses every day.
- Mr. Curry: The Browns' mean and bad-tempered
next-door neighbour, who addresses Paddington simply as "Bear!" He
often invites himself to many of the Browns' special occasions
(though just to sample the snacks).
- Aunt Lucy: Paddington's aunt from South
A Bear Called Paddington
was first published in 1958 and
was followed by ten more books. Although the time frame (setting)
is not listed in any of the books, due to the Browns getting around
in a cab, and one of the characters listening to "the wireless", it
seems to be the 1940s.In order of publication, the titles
A Bear Called Paddington (1958)
- Please Look After This Bear - The story of how the
Browns first met Paddington at Paddington station, hence his name.
He has a sticky situation with some pastries in the station
- A Bear In Hot Water - Paddington's first attempt at
having a bath is a disaster.
- Paddington Goes Underground - Paddington's first
journey on the Underground causes chaos - he finds himself in
trouble with one of the inspectors.
- A Shopping Expedition - Paddington gets lost in
Barkridge's, a local department store. Mrs. Brown has to enlist the
help of a police detective.
- Paddington and "The Old Master" - This story
introduces Paddington's friend, the antique dealer, Mr. Gruber.
After hearing Mr. Gruber talk about painting, Paddington decides to
try his hand at painting himself. He completely ruins Mr. Brown's
entry for a painting competition, but all is forgiven when his
abstract painting wins Mr. Brown his first ever prize.
- A Visit To The Theatre - Paddington goes to see a play
with the Browns, and ends up acting as prompter for the lead actor,
who keeps forgetting his lines.
- Adventure At The Seaside - Paddington takes part in a
sandcastle competition, but his castle is washed away, and he gets
- A Disappearing Trick - Paddington enjoys his first
birthday with the Browns - he is given a magic set, which he uses
to entertain everyone. This story also introduces Mr. Curry, the
Browns' bad-tempered next-door neighbour.
- More About Paddington (1959)
- Paddington Helps Out (1960)
- Paddington Abroad (1961)
- Paddington at Large (1962)
- Paddington Marches On (1964)
- Paddington at Work (1966)
- Paddington Goes to Town (1968)
- Paddington Takes the Air (1970)
- Paddington's Blue Peter Story Book (1973)
- Paddington on Top (1974)
- Paddington Takes the Test (1979)
- Paddington on Screen (1980)
- Paddington Rules the Waves (2008)
- Paddington Here and Now (2008)
- Paddington Rules the Waves (2008) A £1 World Book Day
- Paddington Here and Now (2008) Published as part of
the series' 50th anniversary celebrations..
Michael Bond was also a BBC TV cameraman who worked on the popular
children's television programme Blue Peter.
After this was revealed in 1965, a
special Paddington story — in which he got mixed up in the
programme itself — appeared annually in the Blue Peter
for many years.
They were collected in the novel-length Paddington's Blue Peter
- "Paddington Goes Halves": Paddington enters a craft competition
for Blue Peter. He is allowed to use Mr. Curry's guest room as his
studio, on condition that he gives Mr. Curry half his winnings.
Paddington wins a prize, but it isn't what Mr. Curry expected.
- Paddington is put in charge of looking after Joey, the Blue
Peter parrot, whilst the team are away.
- "Paddington Weighs in": Paddington sees an item on Blue Peter,
and thinks that the team are in trouble. It turns out they were
only trying out the fitness machines in a new health hostel.
Paddington only finds this out after he has attempted to
investigate, resulting in an uncomfortable fitness session with the
hostel's over-zealous coach, Mr. Constantine, and a nasty scene in
the hostel restaurants when he tucks into a non-too-healthy
A second book based around Blue Peter
is Paddington on
Many other picture books and other publications have since featured
television series Paddington
, produced by
Michael Bond and London-based animation company FilmFair
, was first broadcast in 1975. This series
had an extremely distinctive appearance: Paddington was a
stop-motion puppet moving in a three dimensional space in front of
two-dimensional backgrounds (which were frequently sparse
black-and-white line drawings), while all other characters were 2D
drawings — in one scene, a character hands Paddington a jar of
marmalade that becomes 3D when Paddington touches it. Animator
also worked on The Magic Roundabout
. The series was
narrated by Michael Hordern
States, episodes aired on PBS, on the
syndicated series Romper Room, on Nickelodeon as a segment on the
program Pinwheel and on
USA Network as a segment on the program
Calliope in the late 1970s and
early 1980s, as well as in between preschool programming on the
Disney Channel throughout the
The series also aired on HBO
between features, usually when they were airing children's
programs. The series won a silver medal at the New York Film and
Television Festival in 1979 — the first British animated series to
A second television series, produced by Hanna-Barbera
, debuted in 1989 as part of
World of Hanna-Barbera
. This series was traditional
two-dimensional animation and featured veteran voice actor Charlie Adler
as Paddington and Tim Curry
as Mr. Curry. The character of an
American boy named David, Jonathan and Judy Brown's cousin who
arrived in London on the same day as Paddington, was added to the
stories in the 1989 cartoon.
The most recent series, produced by Cinar
, was first broadcast in 1997 and consisted of traditional
two-dimensional colour animation. The show was called The Adventures of Paddington
On the game show Who Wants to be a
in the United States, contestant David Goodman had
a question worth $
saying "In the children's book series, where is Paddington Bear
originally from? A: India, B: Peru, C: Canada, D: Iceland". With
the use of all 3 of his lifelines, he answered with B: Peru and
In September 2007, Warner Bros.
producer David Heyman
live action film adaptation
of Paddington Bear. Hamish McColl
, who penned Mr Bean's Holiday
, will write the
script. The film will not be an adaptation of an existing story,
but "will draw inspiration from the whole series" and will feature
a computer generated
Bear interacting with a live-action environment.
Paddington Bear features in the Marmite
TV advertisement (first broadcast on 13 September 2007), in which
he tries a marmite and cheese sandwich instead of his traditional
Paddington was featured on the Royal Mail
1st class stamp in the Animal Tales series released on 10 January
2006, and had previously been featured on one of the 1st class
Greetings Messages stamps, released on 1 February 1994.
October 2008, Google celebrated the 50th
anniversary of the first Paddington publication by placing an image
of the travelling bear with a sign showing Peru and London incorporated
into Google's logo.
Sheridan's book The A to Z of Classic Children's
Television (Reynolds & Hearn books, 2004, reprinted 2007)
ISBN 1-903111-27-7 contains an informative chapter on the 1970s TV
series of Paddington
- Happy birthday little bear - Sunderland
- Paddington Bear
- Shirley Clarkson, 'Bearly Believable: My Part in the Paddington
Bear Story', Harriman House Publishing, 23 Jun 2008 ISBN
-  Icons of England - Paddington Bear. Accessed
- Michael Bond, 'Paddington Here and Now', Harper Collins, London
2008 ISBN 978-0-00-726940-2
- Michael Bond and R.W. Alley’s Paddington
- The Books
- World Book and Copyright
- BBC NEWS | England | London | Paddington Bear's
- Paddington Bear: a welcome immigrant - Daniel
Hannan, Daily Telegraph. Accessed 2008-07-12.
- Paddington Stars in a New Series of Marmite
- Paddington image at google