Entertainment & Arts

Paddington: Michael Bond writes new short story

Michael Bond with Paddington Image copyright AFP

Paddington creator Michael Bond has written a new short story about the Peruvian bear.

The author created a letter, written by Paddington to his Aunt Lucy, specially for BBC Radio 4's Today programme.

In the letter, Paddington tells of a theatre visit to watch Hamlet and a trip to a Michelin star restaurant - both of which meet sticky ends.

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Media captionActor Hugh Bonneville - who plays Mr Brown in the Paddington movie - reads the new story

Hugh Bonneville, who plays Mr Brown in the Paddington movie, recorded a reading of the story for Today.

"I'm sorry to have to say it, but people aren't as polite as they used to be and sometimes they are hard to understand," Paddington writes.

"For instance, I was taken to the theatre recently and a man came on the stage in a terrible state. 'To be or not to be,' he said. 'That is the question.' Nobody called out, so I shouted 'We don't know the question either,' and everybody started booing me!"

In an interview with Today's John Humphrys, Bond said his character started life as a doodle and he had never intended to write a book.

"I had a blank sheet of paper and a typewriter," he said. "I looked around the flat and caught sight of this bear I bought and it crossed my mind I wonder what it would be like if a real bear landed on Paddington station.

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Media captionMichael Bond: "What is very nice about the film is that it is terribly true to the spirit of the books"

"I didn't intend to write a book at all which was a plus, because I wrote it to please myself.

"I put in things like a duffle coat I was wearing at the time and an old government surplus hat - and in 10 days I had what turned out [to be] a book on my hands."

The author also revealed he was "halfway" through writing a new Paddington story.

"I love writing about Paddington because he makes me laugh sometimes because he's so optimistic," he said, adding: "I shall carry on writing the books as long as I can."

Image copyright Studio Canal

Bond's creation has now been given the big screen treatment, and has been a hit at the UK box office.

The 88-year-old said he thought producers had "done a terribly good job with the film".

"What is very nice is it's terribly true to the spirit of the books," he said.

"I was a bit nervous about it in the beginning because if you've written about a bear called Paddington as I have for years and years it's like having a child - you're a bit nervous if he goes out in to the world and what's going to happen to him.

"But I shouldn't be nervous because he's got his feet firmly on the ground."

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