Paddington Bear gets starring role in M&S Christmas ad

Photo credit: Marks and Spencer
Photo credit: Marks and Spencer

From Digital Spy

As well as being the star of a highly-anticipated movie sequel, Paddington Bear also steals the show in this year's Christmas advert for Marks and Spencer.

'Paddington and the Christmas Visitor' – which has been released today (Tuesday, November 7) and will make its TV debut during the Pride of Britain Awards tonight on ITV – sees Paddington woken up in the early hours of Christmas Eve by a burglar dressed as Father Christmas.

The good-natured bear, who is voiced by Ben Whishaw, believes that the intruder is the real Santa, and sets about to give all the stolen gifts back to the local neighbours.

After a present-returning mission, the advert ends happily when the burglar (played by Mark Benton) realises he must change his ways after seeing a family enjoy their gifts. The moment when Paddington wishes the burglar a "Merry Christmas" by presenting him with his beloved marmalade sandwich is particularly touching.

Photo credit: Marks and Spencer
Photo credit: Marks and Spencer

Other guest appearances in the advert, which was directed by none other than James Bond title designer Danny Kleinman, include the iconic newsreader Angela Rippon, who breaks the news that Santa was spotted in London with a bear, rather than an elf.

And the retailer's partnership with Paddington doesn't end at the advert. M&S is selling 90 Paddington-themed products – including kidswear and his beloved marmalade – across its stores in the UK this festive season.

The advert has also been turned into a storybook which is selling for £3. All of the profits from the book will be donated to the NSPCC to help fund its Childline service over Christmas.

Paddington 2 opens in cinemas November 10.

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