Everyone's favourite marmalade obsessed storybook character Paddington Bear is getting set for another big screen adventure in ‘Paddington 2.’ The sequel follows the film’s hugely successful original from 2014.
Stories of the little Peruvian bear were originally written by author Michael Bond, and have been enjoyed worldwide for 60 years. You may fondly remember enjoying the books from your childhood. What you may not know is that the fictional bear has a link to the military.
Bond’s daughter, Karen Jankel spoke to Forces Radio BFBS about her father’s forces career.
During the Second World War, her father joined the Royal Air Force as a navigator but found he suffered air sickness and as a result, could not continue. Following this short stint, he joined the British Army, serving in the Middlesex Regiment as a Radio Engineer.
“He loved the comradery of the armed forces.”
Below you can hear Forces Radio BFBS' Tim Humphries talking to Karen.
After the war, Michael started writing and sold his first short story to the ‘London Opinion’ magazine in 1945.
Much like children’s author Roald Dahl sharing experiences of the RAF in books like ‘Going Solo’ the author’s experience in the military helped to shape his writing.
“My father was very interested in people and all of his writing was based on either events that happened or people that he knew. Even Paddington was an amalgam of different characters.”
While working as a BBC cameraman, Bond bought a toy bear for his wife and named it Paddington - due to the couple’s home being close to the London railway station. The first of his books about the toy was titled "A Bear Called Paddington" and published in 1958.
Since then Paddington books have sold more than 35 million copies worldwide and have been translated into more than 40 different languages.
Tales of the marmalade-loving bear were first seen in a television animation series in 1975 and in 2014 the live-action CGI film ‘Paddington’ hit the big screen.
Actor Ben Wishaw brings the bear to life and also stars Hugh Grant, Julie Walters and Joanna Lumley. So, what can Michael Bond’s daughter, Karen reveal about the sequel?
“It begins when Paddington wants to buy a very special pop-up book to give to his Aunt Lucy for her 100th birthday and he does a few odd jobs to try and raise the money.”