London is going mad for Paddington Bear, with the movie Paddington to be released in UK cinemas on 28 November. More than 50 Paddington Bear statues will be placed around London, designed by celebrities including Hugh Bonneville, Nicole Kidman and Julie Walters – who star in the film – Hollywood actors Benedict Cumberbatch, and Emma Watson, director Guy Ritchie, Bear Grylls, ballerina Darcey Bussell, the Chelsea football team, the English Rugby Union team, the mayor of London Boris Johnson and he-who-can-do-no-wrong – David Beckham.
The Paddington Trail
The Trail will take visitors to locations across London from as far west as Heathrow through to the O2 in the east, taking in some of London’s hotspots such as The Royal Opera House, Museum of London, Horse Guards Parade, the Museum of Childhood and, of course, Paddington Station with the trail ending in Selfridges.
Hugh Bonneville says: “Paddington is an explorer – this trail is a wonderful way of bringing this to life and I hope it makes people look at London with fresh eyes. I am delighted to have been asked to design one of the bears and have created an ode to Paddington’s favourite preserve. I can’t wait for people to see it.”
The first of the designs have been unveiled as you can see in the photos above: ‘Paddington Bear’ by Michael Bond, ‘Paddington Shakesbear’ by Michael Sheen, ‘Paddington Sparkles’ by Frankie Bridge and ‘Paddingtonscape’ by artist, Hannah Warren.
Michael Sheen who designed ‘Shakesbear Paddington’ says: “It is such a privilege to be designing a statue for The Paddington Trail, especially as it is raising money for the NSPCC – a charity I’m proud to support. I am delighted to have been able to create Shakesbear and combine my love of the bear with my passion for the bard!”
Visitors will be able to follow in the furry footsteps of the world’s favourite Peruvian explorer, from 4 November – 30 December 2014.
Helen Hayes & Sue Wallace
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