© 2020 WFAE
90.7 Charlotte 93.7 Southern Pines 90.3 Hickory 106.1 Laurinburg
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

Paddington Bear Creator Michael Bond Dies At 91


The writer who created Paddington Bear has died. Michael Bond was behind the well-mannered-but-accident-prone bear.


In 1958, readers first discovered the bear sitting on his suitcase at a London train station, having smuggled himself from, quote, "deepest, darkest Peru."


UNIDENTIFIED MAN: (Reading) I'm not really supposed to be here at all. I'm a stowaway. I came all the way in a lifeboat, and I ate marmalade. Bears like marmalade.

INSKEEP: Of course.

MARTIN: That's a reading from the first book in Michael Bond's series. Paddington and his adopted family later starred in a TV series and a movie.


HUGH BONNEVILLE: (As Henry Brown) You need a proper guardian.

BEN WHISHAW: (As Paddington) What's that?

SALLY HAWKINS: (As Mary Brown) It's a grown-up who takes you into their home, looks after you.

WHISHAW: (As Paddington) Like you?

HAWKINS: (As Mary Brown) Yes, well, I suppose so.

INSKEEP: Paddington's creator was a veteran of World War II. He was in Cairo when he wrote his first story in 1945. In later years, he was working as a BBC cameraman when he thought of Paddington.

MARTIN: He was inspired by a single stuffed bear for sale in a store. A few years before his death at 91, Bond said Paddington's story resonates in a time of refugee crises.


MICHAEL BOND: Paddington in a way is a refugee. And I think his label saying please look after this bear is a very important ingredient.

MARTIN: Author Michael Bond did look after that bear through 14 Paddington books.

(SOUNDBITE OF BOYFRIENDS' "SIZE TEN SHUFFLE") Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

We Need Your Help Now More Than Ever

WFAE mask

Our newsroom is hard at work covering everything from the ongoing coronavirus pandemic to the aftermath of the election, the race for a vaccine and our communities' fight to rebuild. But we can't do it without you. Support our local journalism with a donation of ANY amount, and we’ll send you a free WFAE member mask courtesy of AllDayMask.com of Monroe.