Paddington creator Michael Bond remembered at service

From BBC - November 14, 2017

A celebration of the life of Paddington Bear creator Michael Bond has been held at St Paul's Cathedral in London.

Excerpts from Bond's work were read by members of his family, while stars from the Paddington films - among them Hugh Bonneville - read tributes from fans.

Writer and broadcaster Stephen Fry was at Tuesday's service and remembered the author, who died in June aged 91, as "a decent soul and a loveable man".

Other guests paid their own tributes by bringing Paddington Bears with them.

Whether carried under arms or borne in pockets, their presence reflected the love and esteem so many feel for the man who created him.

"Anyone who met my father instantly warmed to him," said Bond's daughter Karen Jankel, recalling "the twinkle in his eye" and his "friendly demeanour".

"I doubt anyone fell out of love with [him]," she went on, citing the presence of both Bond's wives and the mother of his son as testament to that fact.

Another speaker revealed that Bond was so in tune with his most famous creation he would sometimes ask "What would Paddington do?" when considering business affairs.

"Michael was happy for Paddington to take the limelight," said Ann-Janine Murtagh, his publisher at HarperCollins Children's Books, while recalling his "disarming humility".

"Thank you Michael for all your wonderful stories... and for giving us such fun and laughter over the years. We will look after your bear."


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