Special stamps mark 65th birthday of Paddington bear

Special stamps are being issued to celebrate 65 years of marmalade-loving bear Paddington.

Six stamps in the main set are taken from Ivor Wood’s strip cartoons of Paddington, which were originally published in the London Evening News paper in the late 1970s as the character became a star of the small screen.

Working with the animation company FilmFair, Wood designed and directed the first Paddington television series for the BBC from 1976.

Paddington stamps
These images were taken from Ivor Wood’s London Evening News strips from the 1970s (Royal Mail/PA)

Another four stamps presented in a Miniature Sheet capture moments from this TV series.

Michael Bond’s classic children’s character – a Peruvian bear who is adopted by the Brown family in London after arriving at the train station he is named after – first appeared in October 1958, in the book A Bear Called Paddington.

The character has gone on to star in two smash-hit movies in recent years, with Ben Whishaw voicing Paddington in both. This version of the bear also made a memorable appearance alongside the late Queen Elizabeth II in a comic sketch marking her platinum jubilee in 2022.

Paddington bear
The animated BBC series will be familiar to millions who grew up in the 70s and 80s (Royal Mail/PA)

David Gold, director of external affairs and policy at Royal Mail, said: “Paddington continues to bring cheer to generations of children worldwide. These delightful stamps will brighten up the day of anyone receiving mail with a touch of Paddington’s charm.”

Rachel Clarke of the Copyrights Group said: “Paddington is a real heritage brand with a modern hero and we are delighted to be partnering with Royal Mail to celebrate 65 years since Michael Bond first introduced us to the beloved bear.”

The stamps are available to pre-order from today and go on general sale on September 5.