THE creator of the orphan bear from Peru, Paddington has died after a short illness aged 91.
Michael Bond purchased a plush bear as part of a Christmas gift for his wife in 1956 which he called Paddington because they lived near the station of the same name.
He then started thinking about what would happen if this little orphan bear was discovered at a railway station and in 1958 the first book A Bear Called Paddington was published by Collins and a signed first edition is currently for sale at €9,500 which indicates the popularity of the character.
With more than 35 million books sold, numerous plush toys, a cartoon series, a multitude of licenses including one with Robertson’s Marmalade, coins and stamps, the little bear has become a household name.
The second film has just been completed and the author had also just finished his latest Paddington story, so his passing can certainly be considered the end of an era.
Various publishers and celebrities who have been involved with Michael Bond have had nothing but praise for the gentle man who created the polite but often clumsy bear.