It’s a sad day for Paddington fans and also for Horsham-based charity Action Medical Research with news that author Michael Bond died yesterday (Tuesday June 27).
Michael Bond wrote his first Paddington book in 1958 and agreed that the iconic bear could be a mascot for Action Medical Research in 1976.
The charity’s website has a statement which reads: “It is with great sadness that Action Medical Research marks the loss of Paddington Bear™ creator Michael Bond CBE. Michael Bond was involved with Action for over 40 years, following a meeting with our founder Duncan Guthrie in 1976, where it was agreed that Paddington would support the charity as its official mascot.
“Through this very special relationship with Paddington Bear we have been able to attract thousands of new supporters who together have raised millions of pounds to help sick babies and children.”
Phil Hodkinson, Chair of Action Medical Research says: “We are deeply saddened at the news of Michael Bond’s death whose support over the past 40 years for Action Medical Research has been immense. Through his creation of Paddington, he has brought joy and much laughter to so many across the world. There is no doubt that he will be greatly missed.”
A special charity screening of the very popular Paddington movie was held at the Capitol Horsham in 2014 - a sequel to the film is due for release later this year.