From the depths of darkest Peru arrived a little brown bear wearing a blue coat, red wellington boots and a yellow hat, carrying his luggage and marmalade sandwiches. He is, of course, Paddington Bear. Michael Bond’s creation first appeared in 1958 in “A Bear Called Paddington”; 35 million copies of books sold worldwide have made the bear with a strong sense of right and wrong, that finds rules and regulations silly, and dismisses red tape has ensured nations of people have taken Paddington into the heart of their homes.
Soon to be immortalised on file with the release of “Paddington”, the bear has now got his very own walking tour of London! Known as The Paddington Bear Trail, the route will be lined by fifty original statues of the most lovable, favourite character. Standing at just 3’6” tall, these fabulous-decorated, awesome status have been designed by celebrities and artists including Nicole Kidman (who stars in the film), Victoria Beckham, Emma Watson, Benenedict Cumberbatch, Julie Walters, Peter Capaldi, Hugh Bonneville, Darcey Bussell, Guy Ritchie, Davina McCall, Frankie Bridge, Bear Grylls, and of course, Paddington Bear, lovingly recreated by Michael Bond.
Included in the Paddington Bear Trail statues will be “Paddington Shakesbear”, created by the actor, Michael Sheen, as well as “Paddingtonscape” and “Paddington Sparkles”. The statues will appear near parks, museums and some of Paddington Bear’s favourite places from Heathrow Airport to The Royal Opera House, to the Museum of London and on to the end of the trail Selfridges. By the end of the year, the statues will be auctioned in order to raise money for the NSPC (the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children), and other charities.
The Paddington Bear Trail opens in November until 30th December, and there are 50 fabulous statues to find! Time to put those walking shoes on and seek out your favourite Paddington Bear statue!