Quite what UKIP would make of Paddington Bear, we’re not sure. A Peruvian immigrant taken in by a London family, the newly orphaned bear arrived in the UK illegally (he stowed away on a boat) and, as far as we recall, doesn’t work for a living. Presumably the Brown family also claim benefits for him.
Anyway, his status as an immigrant notwithstanding, there’s a new film coming out featuring the loveable character. Ahead of the release of the new movie, the Paddington Trail has been unveiled in London. Fifty lifesized Paddingtons will be unveiled at landmarks across London to mark the launch of the film – and each of the bears has been designed by a celebrity.
Benedict Cumberbatch has created a Sherlock Bear (of course) while Hugh Bonneville’s Paddington tells the story of marmalade. Michael Sheen’s is a Shakes-Bear while David Beckham’s effort is, naturally, Golden-paws.
Unsurprisingly, perhaps, Boris has designed a bear with London scenes all over him imaginatively named The Bear of London. Rather than his trademark duffel coat, Bozza’s Paddington sports Big Ben, a cable car, the Gherkin, the Palace of Westminster, the Post Office Tower and (homage to the bear’s creator), a Tube sign saying Bond Street. And, if you look closely enough, you’ll see a familiarly tousle-haired blond figure, pedalling away on a Boris bike.
The aim is to get fans of Paddington on the hunt to find all 50 of the bears. And, on a more serious note, many of the bespoke-built Paddingtons are to be auctioned off to raise funds for the work of Action Medical Research (Paddington has been helping them for more than three decades), as well as ChildLine and the NSPCC.
“Paddington had the good fortune to be found by Mr and Mrs Brown, who gave him love and a safe space to grow up,” says Peter Wanless, chief executive of the NSPCC. “And that’s something that every young person deserves.”
You can find out more about the Paddington Trail here and if you want to catch Boris’ bear, you’ll find him neat the fourth plinth in Trafalgar Square. If he hasn’t been deported by the Border Agency, of course.