Belfast Telegraph

Bond: Paddington voice is right

Paddington creator Michael Bond has said he is happy with the choice of Ben Whishaw as the new voice of his famous bear.

James Bond actor Ben has taken over the part from Colin Firth, who stepped down from the role earlier this year, admitting that he was having trouble finding the Peruvian character's voice.

Michael said: " Colin agreed himself his voice wasn't really suited, it was slightly too old and I think the new voice is very good."

He added: "What's nice about the film is the fact that all the cast are in it because they like Paddington, they've all been brought up with Paddington and there was a very nice atmosphere on set."

The writer revealed he gave the film, entitled Paddington, his blessing because, while the bear has appeared on stage and television over the years, a movie was "the one thing Paddington hadn't done".

Michael, 88, even has a cameo - watch out for the gentleman in the restaurant at the beginning who waves as Paddington goes past in a black cab.

The author bought Paddington one Christmas Eve from Selfridges in London while shopping for something small for his wife's stocking. It started to snow and he found himself outside Selfridges.

"There was this one bear sitting on the shelf and I felt sorry for him," he recalled.

"Someone once said, 'A doll's always wondering what they're going to wear next, but there's something about a bear - you feel you can tell it your secrets and it won't give them away'."

That little bear inspired him to write A Bear Called Paddington, almost 60 years ago. Since then, 35 million Paddington books have been sold worldwide, and translated into 40 languages.

Bond has just written Love From Paddington, a book of letters from Paddington to his Aunt Lucy at the Home for Retired Bears in darkest Peru.

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