Michael Bond, the author of the Paddington series of books, has died at the age of 91, following a short illness.
He turned his hand to writing in the 1950s after a spur-of-the-moment teddy bear purchase for his wife one Christmas Eve. They named it Paddington, as the couple lived near the London station of the same name.
The typewriter came out, the idea for the first book was born and the beloved bear with a hard stare became a household name.
Numerous books followed, with the latest – Paddington’s Finest Hour – published last April. They were turned into a television series and an award-winning, internationally-acclaimed film. A second film is due to be released later in 2017.
Paddington’s enduring popularity, according to his creator, is “simply the joy of a little bear who is an outsider getting into scrapes and mishaps – always with the best of intentions – and coming out on top every time.”
Bond is survived by his wife, Sue, two children and four grandchildren.