Visitors to London will be able to follow in the furry footsteps of the world’s favourite Peruvian explorer as the Paddington Trail is launched across some of London’s key cultural and landmark hotspots from October 2014.
In Michael Bond’s original tales, the young, stowaway bear finds himself alone in a big and unfamiliar city. Taken in by the Brown family, he finds a warm welcome and a safe place to stay and sets out to discover more about his adopted city.
London-based design company 3DEye will be helping to create the three foot six inch tall statues, all of which will be auctioned later in the year to raise money for charity partners including the NSPCC**.
The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, said, “As a long-time fan of Paddington Bear I’m delighted that this world-famous, marmalade-loving, duffle-coat wearing, polite but notoriously accident-prone bear will be celebrated by Londoners and visitors to our great city, with the launch of this fantastic trail.”
David Heyman, producer of Paddington, said “I am delighted that Michael Bond’s unforgettable bear has now inspired The Paddington Trail. Paddington’s story is universal, the story of an outsider in search of a home. We shot the film across London and look forward to seeing the city through Paddington’s eyes when the trail launches this Autumn in aid of the NSPCC and its ChildLine service.”
Karen Jankel, managing director of Paddington and Company***, said: “ When my father Michael Bond first wrote about Paddington many years ago he could never have imagined that one day he would see life-sized versions of his creation all over London. It is a huge honour for a small bear and it will be very exciting to see how all the different artists choose to interpret him.”
Peter Wanless, CEO of the NSPCC, said: “It’s going to be wonderful to see two iconic British institutions – Paddington Bear and the NSPCC – coming together against the backdrop of this wonderful city, to raise vital funds for vulnerable children and their families. Paddington was fortunate enough to be found by Mr and Mrs Brown who gave him love and a safe space to grow up – something that every young person deserves. Through ChildLine, the NSPCC is there 24/7 for any young person who is feeling lost and in need of support.”
Paddington’s origins date back almost 60 years to when his creator, Michael Bond, bought a small bear on Christmas Eve 1956, as a present for his wife, and named him after the nearest railway station to which they lived.
The classic tales of the much loved bear have sold more than 35 million copies worldwide, been translated into more than 40 languages and captured the imagination of children and adults around the globe.
Due for release on January 16, 2015, the highly anticipated big screen debut of PADDINGTON will showcase many of the trail locations in the capital, including his first port of entry – Paddington station. The film from StudioCanal and Heyday Films is written and directed by Paul King (Bunny and the Bull, The Mighty Boosh) produced by David Heyman (Gravity, Harry Potter) boasting an all-star cast including Hugh Bonneville, Sally Hawkins, Julie Walters, Peter Capaldi, Jim Broadbent and Nicole Kidman with Ben Whishaw as the voice of Paddington.
To find out more about The Paddington Trail, visit www.visitlondon.com/paddington.
*VisitLondon.com will have a dedicated section enabling visitors to London to download the trail map, share their pictures and discover the stories behind each statue and location. VisitLondon.com/Paddington.
**The lead charity partner is the NSPCC. The trail also benefits children’s charity Action Medical Research for whom Paddington Bear has been the official mascot for over 35 years. Action Medical Research for Children.
***Paddington and Company own and control the worldwide rights to Paddington Bear www.paddington.com
For further details on the Paddington movie, visit www.paddington.com.
Further details on the trail launch date and locations will be announced shortly.
London & Partners
Rebekah Clement, Media & PR Manager – Leisure Tourism
Tel: +44 (0)20 7234 5861 / +44 (0) 7826 907 415
Suzanne Noble, Head of Publicity and Corporate Communications
Tel: +44 (0) 207 534 2724 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Matt Hopkinson, Chief Press Officer
Tel: +44 (0) 207 825 2919 Email: Matt.Hopkinson@nspcc.org.uk
Christina Joyce, Premier
Tel: +44 (0) 20 7292 8352 Email: Christina.Joyce@premiercomms.com
For more information contact:
VisitBritain Media Teampressandpr@visitbritain.com