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Tuesday 5 November 2013, 17:46
Amid the low-key hubbub and reassuring drone of a waiting Eurostar, sharply-dressed professionals, and tourists with modest suitcases packed for a mid-week city break, stroll elegantly around St Pancras International station in London.
Some have their attention diverted by nine immaculately turned out stuffed bears sitting proudly in perspex boxes. In the brief time I've been here I've counted at least six bemused people pause and stare, before retrieving smartphones from their pockets to take some pictures of a much-loved bear.Only special bears with a sartorial eye get their own signage at St Pancras.
The bears are all Pudseys with distinctive customised outfits designed by different celebrities. (A complete gallery of the makeovers is available on the Children in Need website.) On the way here this morning - the first day the bears are exhibited for a special Children in Need auction - I've had to put to one side my pre-conceptions about how there can only be one bear: the yellow one with the multi-coloured patch over his eye. That one is a real bear - these others guys and gals are just imposters.
It doesn't take much before I change my mind. My inner-child isn't far below the surface. The same, I reckoned can be said for the small crowd of people gathering around the six exhibits in the concourse. Smiles spread across everybody's faces.Joanna Lumley's glamorous Pudsey at a suitably glamorous international location.
These aren't just your bog standard Pudseys (and even he's adorable), these ones are your upper class ones dressed in a full range of stylish, iconic garb including the obligatory Sergeant Pepper costume (Paul McCartney), strips of Coldplay's outfit from Viva La Vida (Chris Martin) and a Chanel-esque jacket (Joanna Lumley).
Whilst technically us staffers are not supposed to have an opinion nor show favouritism, I figure it's acceptable on this occasion to confess that although Brian May's Pudsey with his telescope prop and saucy Tam O'Shanter is terribly cute in his near-pomposity, that Helen Mirren's Pudsey in a bikini is quirky and Shirley Bassey's sequinned design is an eye-catcher, it is Joanna Lumley's sassy depiction that conjurs up so many happy memories of Absolutely Fabulous as to make hers the Pudsey I'd plump for.All the Very Important Pudsey bears
Jon Jacob is Editor, About the BBC Blog and website.
Tuesday 5 November 2013, 10:37
Wednesday 6 November 2013, 12:36