Paddington Bear creator Michael Bond dead aged 91
PADDINGTON Bear fans will be having a marmalade sandwich with a tinge of sadness after the death of the loveable character's creator Michael Bond.
Bond, who launched the hat-wearing, duffel-coated bear to worldwide fame in 1958, died at his home after a short illness at the age of 91.
The pint-sized mis-adventurer made his first appearance in A Bear Called Paddington when he arrived at London's Paddington train station wearing a sign that simply said: "Please look after this bear. Thank you."
But the intrigues of his origins - he was plucked from the "Darkest Peru" - were soon lost among the calamity of his journeys with his adoptive family, the Brown household, which appeared in 20 books, a television series and a feature film.
Paddington's appeal proved internationally infectious with about 35 million copies being sold worldwide and translated into 40 languages.
Bond, who based the character on a teddy bear he bought for his wife, said Paddington's enduring appeal was steeped in the toy's relationship with children.
"There's something about bears which sets them apart from the other toys," he said according to the ABC.
"I think dolls are always wondering what they're going to wear next.
"Bears have this quality that children in particular feel they can tell their secrets to and they won't pass them on."
And it's in that wonderful world of imagination and story-making that Bond "will live on in the hearts of future generations."