Paddington Bear's first ever interview

Paddington Bear and his creator Michael Bond
Paddington Bear and his creator Michael Bond
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The Lancashire Post is renowned for its exclusives but one of the more unusual ones in the paper’s long history came in 1986 when it secured the first ever interview with Paddington Bear. Following the recent death of creator Michael Bond, here we publish that world first again

Post: Where and when were you born and how did you end up in this country?
Paddington: I was born in darkest Peru in South America and I was brought up by my Aunt Lucy in the Home for Retired Bears in Lima. When I was old enough to leave the home she put me on a boat for England.
LP: How did you come to move in with the Brown family?
PB: I’m not quite sure how it happened but I ended up on Paddington Station. The Browns found me sitting on my suitcase near the lost property office. They felt sorry for me and asked me to stay with them. I’ve been there ever since.
LP: Why do you always wear a duffle coat and wellingtons?
PB: I didn’t have any clothes to wear except an old hat which once belonged to my uncle and was handed down. England is much colder – and wetter – than darkest Peru, so Mrs Brown bought me a duffle coat and wellington boots to keep me warm and dry.
LP: How did you come to be addicted to marmalade sandwiches and have you any other favourite foods?
PB: I used to eat them a lot in the Home for Retired Bears. I like anything which is tasty. Mrs Bird (the cook with the Brown family) makes some very good stew with dumplings. I eat marmalade with that sometimes.
LP: When you are not eating marmalade sandwiches what do you enjoy doing most?
PB: I like anything new.
LP: You are now a very well known bear. Do you enjoy being famous and does it pose any problems for you?
PB: It was nice at first. But sometimes my paw aches if I have to sign a lot of autographs. Then I wish I had a shorter name like Joe or Al.
LP: You are adored by a lot of children – and adults. Why do you think we all love you so much?
PB: I don’t really know. I don’t feel any different to other bears.
LP: Do you have a favourite toy, or person? If so, who and why?
PB: Mr Gruber is my favourite person. He is very kind and helpful. Nothing is too much trouble and he explains things very well. I think he understands what it feels like living in a strange country. That’s because he was born in Hungary.
LP: Do you watch TV and if so which kind of programmes?
PB: I like detective programmes. You never know what is going to happen next. Cooking programmes are good, too, except they usually make me feel hungry.


LP: Were you pleased to have a TV programme made about you?
PB: I think so, although it always seems strange seeing myself on screen. I don’t think I’ve got lines on my face in real life.
LP: You are an accident prone little bear. How do you manage to get into so many scrapes?
PB: I don’t know, things happen to bears.
LP: What kind of weather do you like most – and least – and why?
PB: I like warm, sunny days – especially in winter – but that doesn’t happen very often. I don’t like wet days because the rain makes my fur go soggy.
LP: What would your perfect day be like?
PB: Very long so that I can do all the things I want to. Days are always too short.
LP: Is there anyone more famous than you who you would like to meet and why?
PB: I would like to have met Christopher Columbus. Mr Columbus took orange seeds with him when he went exploring, which is how marmalade came to South America. Not many people know that.
LP: If you had one wish what would it be?
PB: I’m sorry would you mind repeating the question?
LP: If you had one wish what would it be?
PB: That’s better. I think I had a marmalade chunk stuck in my ear. I sometimes wish marmalade wasn’t quite so sticky. It’s easy getting it on your paws but much harder getting it off again.
LP: Have you changed at all during the past few years? If so, how and why?
PB: Mrs Bird says I have got fatter but I think there is something wrong with the bathroom scales. Mr Brown thinks there is, too!
LP: Do you have a message for your little friends in Lancashire?
PB: Keep eating the hot pot. It sounds very nice.