Many newspapers recently reported the death of Peggy Fortumn. The 96 year old, whose full name was Margaret Emily Noel Nuttall-Smith, was the first illustrator to draw Michael Bonds much loved character Paddington Bear.
A Bear Called Paddington was first published in 1958. Since then, Paddington has had many incarnations, including appearing on TV and in the Cinema.
This got me thinking about Paddington. I really wanted to write a post about all the different illustrators that had drawn him but this seemed like a copyright nightmare.
Instead, here are six facts you might not know about paddington:
- Michael Bond once considered suing Jeremy Clarksons Parents after he discovered they were selling soft toy versions of Paddington. Instead he decidd they seemed nice and gave them a licence.
- Paddington Bear did not originally have wellington boots– Dunlop children’s wellies were added to help the soft toy version stand up until Dunlop couldn’t meet demand and Paddington had his own boots designed.
- 32 Windsor Gardens (where Paddington Lives) does not exist but the council house residents of Windsor Gardens often find lost tourists wandering nearby.
- Paddington was meant to be from deepest darkest Africa. Bond changed this to be Peru due to a lack of bears in Africa. Paddington is thus based on the peruvian spectacled bear.
- Paddington came to the UK fleeing the aftermath of a natural disaster. In modern UK law that isn’t enough to grant him refugee status. Also as he didn’t register as a refugee on arrival he might be looking at 6 months in Prison. The Brown family could also be sentenced for sheltering him. http://www.pri.org/stories/2014-12-04/if-paddington-bear-came-uk-today-he-might-be-detained-illegal-immigrant
- Michael Bond is still writing Paddington books so if you think of these a think from the past, think again. The most recent is ‘Love from Paddington‘ letters from Paddington to his aunt Lucy, published in 2014.