Paddington Bear trail

    Classic Paddington Bear statue, sponsored by First Great Western, with his creator Michael Bond at Paddington Rail Station, London. Photo by Jon Furniss.
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    There’s a very unusual new trail to follow across London right now, and the waymarkers are hard to miss! Thanks to VisitLondon.com, the NSPCC and STUDIOCANAL, 50 Paddington Bear statues can be seen across the capital for The Paddington Trail, until 30 December 2014.


    “Good News Bear” by The Telegraph,
    Great George Street – part of the Paddington Trail

    Launched on 4 November, the colourful little characters were accompanied by some of the celebrities and artists who designed their unique ‘outfits’. Dressed for the occasion, bears include David Beckham’s football-loving ‘Golden Paws’, Emma Watson’s ‘Flutterby’, Benedict Cumberbatch’s ‘Sherlock Bear’, Peter Capaldi’s ‘Paddington Who?’, Stephen Fry’s ‘Paddington is GREAT’, Nicole Kidman’s ‘Blush’ and Mayor of London Boris Johnson’s ‘The Bear of London’: from Big Ben and St Paul’s Cathedral to Tower Bridge – this Paddington wears his love for London on his sleeve.

    Paddington Bear Statues around London -
    Paddington Bear Statues around London –
    “Golden Paws” by David Beckham,
    Canada Gate, Green Park

    Paddington’s origins date back almost 60 years to when his creator, Michael Bond, bought a small bear from Selfridges on Christmas Eve 1956, as a present for his wife, and named him after the nearest railway station to which they lived. Selfridges is the Trail’s retail partner and will be selling a selection of statue miniatures from a dedicated Paddington concept store showcasing a variety of Paddington related products and artefacts. The Paddington Curiosity Shop has been created especially to celebrate the historic link between the store and the famous bear as well as raising funds for the NSPCC and its ChildLine service.

    Paddington bear statues -
    Paddington bear statues –
    “Wonders of the World” by Peru
    at London Bridge station. The bears mark the Paddington Trail ahead of the forthcoming ‘Paddington’ film, released in UK cinemas on 28 November 2014

    Mayor of London, Boris Johnson said, “London has a fine tradition of welcoming visitors from overseas and Paddington Bear is no exception. I hope Londoners and visitors to our great capital will follow the trail and perhaps offer him a marmalade sandwich or two wherever they find him.”

    Visitors will be able to follow in the furry footsteps of the world’s favourite Peruvian explorer visiting locations across the capital from as far west as Heathrow through to the O2 in the east, taking in some of London’s key cultural and landmark hotspots such as The Royal Opera House, Museum of London, Horse Guards Parade, the Museum of Childhood, Selfridges and, of course, Paddington Station where Michael Bond’s classic bear can be seen, sponsored by First Great Western.

    VisitLondon.com has a dedicated section of their website which details a full list of designers and their designs and will enable visitors to London to find out more about the trail and download the trail map, share their pictures and discover the stories behind each statue and location.

    www.visitlondon.com/paddington

    The final four statue designers were also revealed as artist Marc Quinn, architect Zaha Hadid, supermodel Kate Moss whose ‘Goldiebear’ is currently in the Christmas-themed window of Selfridges, and actress Sandra Bullock who has created a GRAVITY inspired design of Paddington in an astronaut’s outfit which will be hung from the ceiling at the Royal Observatory, Greenwich.

    London based design company 3DEye has helped to create the 3ft 6in tall statues, which will be auctioned online by Christie’s from 10 December to raise vital funds for the NSPCC and its ChildLine service, helping to ensure that children and young people have someone to turn to in times of need in the same way as Mr and Mrs Brown were there for Paddington.

    The list of adventurous designers also includes other stars of the Paddington film Sally Hawkins, Julie Walters and Ben Whishaw, Hollywood actor Michael Sheen, director Guy Ritchie, Pink Floyd’s Nick Mason, globally renowned photographer Rankin, leading fashion designer Matthew Williamson, painter and street artist Inkie, illustrator Hannah Warren, presenters Davina McCall, Ant McPartlin & Declan Donnelly and Jonathan Ross, survival expert Bear Grylls, and both Chelsea football team and the England rugby union team.

    In Michael Bond’s original tales, the young 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. Due for release in UK cinemas on 28 November 2014, the big screen debut ‘PADDINGTON’ will showcase many of the trail locations in the capital, including his first port of entry, Paddington station. Produced by Heyday Films and STUDIOCANAL, the film boasts 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 the friendly bear.

    To find out more about The Paddington Trail, see www.visitlondon.com/paddington or follow #PaddingtonTrail

    For further details on the Paddington movie, visit www.paddington.com

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