Paddington: The Man Behind the Bear

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Paddington: The Man Behind the Bear
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Review

Paddington creator Michael Bond, who died in 2017, is buried in Paddington Old Cemetery. His headstone reads: “Please look after this bear.” I was glad to learn this at the very end of a charming documentary presented by Mr Brown himself, Hugh Bonneville, as otherwise I wouldn’t have been able to see my screen for a curtain of tears.

Bond, whose day-job was as a BBC cameraman (he worked on Blue Peter), got the idea for Paddington when he was in a toy shop on Christmas Eve and noticed that there was a single, solitary bear left on the shelf.

After his imagination was fired Bond drew on his own childhood years when his family opened their house to British evacuees and to displaced Jewish children, who would cry nightly for their absent parents.

Celebrity fans, including Stephen Fry, share their feelings about the beloved, be-hatted bear.

Summary

Following straight on from the premiere of Paddington 2 over on BBC One, this documentary explores where the original stories came from. Creator Michael Bond drew on his wartime memories of evacuee children to shape the story of the little bear from darkest Peru, while his literary agent, who came from a Jewish family who fled the Nazis, inspired Paddington's kindly friend Mr Gruber. Featuring interviews with Michael Bond's family, friends and celebrity admirers, including Stephen Fry, Bernard Cribbins and Heston Blumenthal, and readings by Hugh Bonneville.

Cast & Crew

Narrator Hugh Bonneville
Director Eric Haynes
Executive Producer Richard Bright
Producer Eric Haynes
Documentary