Hugh Bonneville pays tribute to Paddington Bear creator

Robert Dex

Paddington star Hugh Bonneville led tributes to the character’s creator Michael Bond at a memorial service today.

Mourners at St Paul’s Cathedral heard him read messages from fans from around the world.

The writer’s family were contacted by hundreds of readers when his death aged 91 was announced in June.

Among them was one who praised his “dedication to increasing joy in a world much in need of it”.

Hugh Bonneville led tributes to the character’s creator Michael Bond (Photo Dave J Hogan / Getty Images)

Another told how they became a teacher because of Paddington, adding: “His tips on hard stares served me particularly well.”

Bonneville — who plays Mr Brown, the head of Paddington’s adopted family, in the films — also read a tribute from one reader who said their world “stopped for a few beats” when the writer’s death was announced.

Author Michael Bond died in June (PA)

The service included readings by Bond’s grandchildren and his publisher at HarperCollins.

Also in attendance was sculptor Marcus Cornish, whose statue of Paddington stands in the station that inspired his name.

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