With the passing of Paddington Bear creator Michael Bond, I wanted to pay respect to the man who contributed towards my childhood, but also give you an interesting fact the revolves around Paddington Bear and Jeremy Clarkson’s family.
So firstly, Mr Bond passed away on the 28th of June at the age of 91. You may not be so interested in this so I will keep it short, but he was the creator of the Peruvian bear, Paddington. I loved his stories as a child and am very sad to hear that he’s no longer with us.
Paddington’s well known wellies did not come from Bond however. It was Clarkson’s family that came up with that idea once they’d started a design firm in the early 70s called Gabrielle Designs and started selling the bears as merchandise.
They made the first Paddington Bear for their children, Joanna and Jeremy, for Christmas, but the bear would keep falling over. This is where the wellies come in. Being a bit heavier and flatter, they would stop the bear from falling.
This became so popular that they eventually had to start making their own special wellingtons with paw prints on them – you can still buy them at Paddington Station.
In fact, as the story goes, Bond considered suing them for copyright infringement, but soon gave them a license after becoming friends in a lift. Yep.
Bond said, “I got in the lift with Shirley and Eddie. They were terribly nice and pretended it had all been a mistake — and we were friends by the time we got out of the lift. I gave them a licence.”
It’s rumoured that Jeremy was roped into selling the bears, and eventually they made a small fortune selling millions of them.
It’s a strange, small world.
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