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Last Updated: Friday, 13 January 2006, 10:14 GMT
Elevenses with Mr Paddington bear
Paddington, the marmalade-munching bear from Darkest Peru, may be nearly 50 but he's still popular, appearing on postage stamps and with a new adventure on the way. On his 80th birthday, creator Michael Bond reveals why the bear with the very hard stare has endured.

Your comments:

For a Peruvian migrant, I have always thought of the great bear as more English than fish and chips. Well spoken and with a heart of gold, he remains a great role model. (Apart from his DIY and cooking skills!!!) Please let us never see the day when Paddington acquires an American accent...
Richard Williams, Brisbane

I grew up on the Oliver Postgate stop-motion-animated doll and drawing series in the 70s. What I understood and appreciated even as a kid was that Paddington and other characters like Mr Gruber were not always kind and wonderful; they got grumpy and irritated by other people's stupidity. It's a good gauge of age these days if you refer to a 'Paddington hard stare' in conversation!
Laura, Tokyo, Japan

Being a Peruvian from a British family, I have always loved Paddington!! Cheers from darkest Peru!!
Alex Bayly, Lima, Peru

25 years ago at a bookshop in London where I used to work, a little girl overheard me saying that I come from Peru. She immediately fired millions of questions about Aunt Lucy and the Home for Retired Bears. I was very embarassed at not knowing what she was talking about and marched into the local library to read all the stories about Paddington. I have read them to my daughters and will read them to any child who will listen. I even dress up as Paddington for our school's Book Day events. The stories are very well written and they have even taught me to love marmalade sandwiches.
Ana Maria Lopez, Southampton, UK

Paddington is a bear that I have always wanted, however, I was not going to be satisfied by an imitation here in the states. While on a trip in the UK 5 years ago I finally purchased the real thing, and I have never regretted it. I am now 53 years old, just slightly older than Paddington, but I feel as though we belong together. My Paddington has a special place in my home and in my heart. HAPPY BIRTHDAY PADDINGTON!!!
Millard Kirk, Apopka, Florida

You can tell when something has become an institution when you see it affect the language around you. Our whole family still uses the term 'Paddington stare' when describing a particular no-nonsense look.
Dave Wynn, Cardiff, Wales

"How many buns make five?" "Two and a half." "Sorry, that's the wrong answer." "I always share my buns with Mr.Gruber." ...I remember these words thirty years later.
Jim Wilson, Hat Yai, Thailand

Well, I have to say that I grew up with Paddington Bear and still love marmalade sandwiches. It's been wonderful watching with my young children the old episodes repeated out here on BBC Canada, although none of us seem to quite like as much the more modern episodes. But hearty congratulations are due to Mr Bond for creating such an iconic character, so beloved after so many years.
David, Vancouver, BC

My two-year-old daughter loves books and Paddington Bear is one of her favourites. Some characters are simply timeless.
Ian Arthur, Stone, Staffs

I purchased a "Paddington Bear" for my daughter's third birthday now 27 years ago! Although a lot of water has gone under the bridges of life, Paddington still remains on a shelf in a corner of my office. Happy Birthday Paddington!!
David Cawton, Jacksonville, Florida. U.S.A.

I have just bought the most adorable Paddington Bear PJ's!!! Being married, 38yrs old & mum of a 5yr old they have done nothing for my husband but I love them!!!
Jayne May age 38!!, Chelmsford Essex UK

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