Paddington designs by David Beckham, Hugh Bonneville, Nicole Kidman and Benedict Cumberbatch unveiled for the first time ahead of the launch of The Paddington Trail
Some 15 much-anticipated statues of Paddington have been unveiled in London ahead of the launch of The Paddington Trail. The statues were accompanied by some of the celebrities and artists who designed the unique artworks that will go on display across the city.
Bears revealed included David Beckham’s ‘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 the Mayor of London Boris Johnson’s ‘The Bear of London’.
The Mayor 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 along the way, such as The Royal Opera House, Museum of London, Horse Guards Parade, the Museum of Childhood, Selfridges and, of course, Paddington Station.
VisitLondon.com has a dedicated section of its 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 at VisitLondon.com/Paddington.
The final four statue designers were also revealed as: celebrated artist Marc Quinn, world renowned architect Zaha Hadid, supermodel Kate Moss whose ‘Goldiebear’ is currently in the Christmas-themed window of Selfridges and Hollywood superstar 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.
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, explorer and survival expert Bear Grylls, and both Chelsea football team and the England rugby union team.
The statues will be auctioned online by Christie’s from December 10 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.
Paddington’s origins date back almost sixty 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. 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 Canadian cinemas on January 16 2015, the big screen debut of Paddington will showcase many of the trail locations in the capital, including his first port of entry – Paddington station.