Paddington creator’s daughter reveals fans leave small bears at his grave

Paddington Bear creator Michael Bond holds his Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) after it was presented to h
Paddington Bear creator Michael Bond holds his Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) after it was presented to him by the Duke of Cambridge at an Investiture ceremony at Buckingham Palace in central London.

The daughter of late Paddington bear creator Michael Bond has revealed fans leave little bears on his headstone.

Children’s author Bond died at the age of 91 in 2017 and is best remembered for creating the beloved character.

Paddington, a small bear from Peru with a battered suitcase, distinctive blue duffel coat and a love of marmalade, first appeared in print in 1958.

He has also starred in two Hollywood films, with actor Ben Whishaw lending his voice to the character.

Michael Bond’s Paddington
Michael Bond’s most famous creation, Paddington Bear, remains a beloved children’s book character (Kirsty O’Connor/PA)

Bond’s daughter Karen Jankel told the Radio Times Christmas issue it is “lovely” to see her father’s legacy, adding: “I feel fortunate because my father is remembered. People leave little bears on his headstone (in Paddington Old Cemetery).”

Since arriving in the UK from South America, Paddington has been seen by many as a sympathetic figure for immigration.

Bond said in his later life he was touched by letter from child immigrants telling their own stories of arriving in Britain.

Ms Jankel said her father was “very sad” at the divided state of the UK before his death.

She said: “Dad was very sad about that. He continued writing about Paddington until very close to the end and that’s partly because we need his kindness and that accepting of strangers more than ever.”

– The full interview is in the  Radio Times Christmas issue.

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