Paddington: The Man Behind the Bear
With readings by Hugh Bonneville, animation and contributions from celebrity fans, this film celebrates the beloved character of Paddington and tells the story of his unassuming creator Michael Bond.
Featuring specially filmed readings and narration by Hugh Bonneville, this film celebrates how Paddington became such a well-loved character for generations of readers and film fans. It is also the story of his unassuming creator Michael Bond.
With a mix of archive, animation, interviews - and some surprising encounters - it tells the tale of how a little Peruvian bear called Paddington found a home in Britain and went on to enchant the world.
The film includes interviews with Michael Bond’s family and some famous admirers, among them Stephen Fry, Heston Blumenthal, Lauren Child, Bernard Cribbins, Valerie Singleton and Jeremy Clarkson. Animated sequences based on Peggy Fortnum’s original illustrations also help bring this captivating story to life.
There are fascinating insights into how Michael Bond's own life influenced the values and character he gave to Paddington, from Michael’s personal encounters with refugees during the war to witnessing the arrival of the Windrush generation in postwar London.
Entertaining sequences that Paddington would approve of include a trip to see his close relatives at the zoo, an exclusive endorsement from the Peruvian ambassador, Heston Blumenthal performing a Paddington-inspired culinary magic trick and Jeremy Clarkson revealing how his parents made a fortune selling unofficial Paddington dolls.
The film is also a nostalgic trip to the golden age of British TV - a time when Bill and Ben and Muffin the Mule ruled the roost and Michael Bond was a camera supervisor on a brand new children’s show called Blue Peter. Bond later teamed up with the genius behind The Magic Roundabout to bring us The Herbs and, of course, the BBC television version of Paddington.
Following Paddington’s rise to become the world’s most recognisable, well-loved bear, the film sees how Paddington worked as a Unicef children’s champion and, with the help of cast and crew, follows his unstoppable career in the movies.
Ultimately the film offers a warm celebration of how Michael Bond gave Paddington values of decency and understanding shaped by his own upbringing and experiences in postwar Britain, and, in doing so, created a bear the whole world has come to love.
Timings (where shown) are from the start of the programme in hours and minutes
|Executive Producer||Richard Bright|
|Interviewed Guest||Jeremy Clarkson|
|Interviewed Guest||Bernard Cribbins|
|Interviewed Guest||Konnie Huq|
|Assistant Producer||Louise Arthur|
|Interviewed Guest||Heston Blumenthal|
|Production Manager||Claire McCluskey|
|Interviewed Guest||Valerie Singleton|
|Production Coordinator||Susan Scott|
|Interviewed Guest||Lauren Child|
|Interviewed Guest||Paul King|
|Interviewed Guest||Stephen Fry|
|Interviewed Guest||Simon Farnaby|
|Interviewed Guest||Rosie Alison|
|Interviewed Guest||Karen Jankel|
|Interviewed Guest||Sue Bond|
|Interviewed Guest||Brenda Bond|
|Interviewed Guest||Tobago Cursoe|
|Interviewed Guest||Peter Joseph|
|Interviewed Guest||Barry Macey|
|Interviewed Guest||Lucy Edwards|