Timeline of Events
24th December 1956 a BBC cameraman buys a small toy bear left alone on a shelf in Selfridges store, London, for his wife Brenda. Named Paddington, after the station close to Michael Bond’s home, the bear inspires him to write eight episodes in just over a week.
13th October 1958 Williams Collins publish the very first book ‘A Bear Called Paddington’, in hardback, illustrated by Peggy Fortnum.
January 1959 'A Bear Called Paddington' is listed as ‘The Best Children’s Novel’ of 1958 by the UK Book Trade Journal, Books and Bookmen.
September ‘More About Paddington’, Michael Bond’s second novel, is published.
January 1960 ‘A Bear Called Paddington’ is translated into Swedish, Danish and Dutch.
September Paddington is published in the US by Houghton Mifflin of Boston.
1962 Paddington appears in Puffin paperback. (The paperback edition of ‘Paddington at Large’ went on to become one of the lead titles in Puffin’s 25th anniversary celebrations in 1966.)
1964 Blue Peter television programme publishes its Annual, featuring the first of fourteen specifically written Paddington stories.
1965 Michael Bond retires from his job as a BBC cameraman to write full-time Paddington starts his radio and television career with a story on BBC Radio's Children's Hour Michael Bond makes an appearance on Blue Peter.
1966 Four Paddington stories are released as 7 records by the Delyse Record company.
1967 ‘A Bear Called Paddington’ is first published in Japanese, translation by Fukuinkan Stoten.
1968 A horse called Paddington Bear, owned by Lady Aitken, is loyally backed by staff of Collins publishers.
1969 A rock group called ‘The Paddington Bears’ is formed in New Zealand.
1971 Shirley Clarkson makes two soft toy Paddington Bears as Christmas presents for her children Joanna and Jeremy (who was later to go on to become a well-known journalist and television personality in his own right).
1972 Shirley Clarkson’s company, Gabrielle Designs, becomes the first Paddington licensee, manufacturing her classic Paddington toys dressed in duffle coats, felt hats and Wellington Boots.
‘Paddington Bear’, the first Paddington picture book for younger readers, illustrated by Fred Banbery, is published.
1973 ‘The Adventures of a Bear Called Paddington’, the first Paddington musical, opens at the Nottingham Playhouse. (It was staged at the Duke of York theatre in London the following year.)
1974 Eden Toys, a New York toy company, acquires the American rights to produce a Paddington Bear soft toy.
Coalport China produces a collection of ceramic Paddington giftware.
1975 This year sees the first broadcast on BBC1 of 30x5 minute episodes of the FilmFair puppet animated series made under the direction of Ivor Wood. The series is sold throughout the world.
A range of Paddington stationery by Hestair Hope is the first ever co-ordinated children’s collection in the UK, as is Wardle Fabrics’ children’s bedding range.
1976 Paddington becomes the figurehead of Paddington's Make it Grow Club, the children's arm of leading UK charity, Action Medical Research.
1978 The first Paddington and Friends shop opens in London.
A Paddington strip cartoon appears in the London Evening News.
A Paddington in a glass case is unveiled on Paddington Station.
1979 A second series of 26 FilmFair episodes are screened and awarded a silver medal at the New York Film and Television Festival – the first British animated series ever to win a major award.
1981 A second Paddington and Friends shop opens in Bath.
Paddington appears in three half hour specials made by FilmFair, including ‘Paddington Goes to the Movies’ featuring a classic dance routine from Singin’ in the Rain – a tribute to Gene Kelly, which was made with his full approval; the film is nominated for an Emmy.
1982 Paddington makes his debut in Japan with leading retailer Sony Plaza. Collections of exclusive product have been developed for the Japanese market ever since.
1983 Paddington’s Silver Jubilee is marked by a dedicated Christmas Grotto in Selfridges, the store in London where the original bear was bought.
A new stage show, 'Paddington’s Magical Musical' by Shirley Roden and produced by Bill Kenwright, opens at the Hexagon in Reading before going on tour.
1984 A giant hot-air balloon is made for a Paddington fan, Frank Meyer of Colorado, USA.
Japanese airline JAS initiates a ski tour promotion featuring Paddington, which continued to run over 12 years.
1985 Paddington is the subject of ‘A Life in the Day of’ article in the Sunday Times Magazine.
1986 Paddington joins Richard Branson as a crew member when he attempts to break the Atlantic Blue Riband speed record.
A 40’ picture of Paddington is one of the main features of the Blackpool Illuminations.
Paddington accompanies Margaret Thatcher at a Conservative party Conference.
1987 Paddington appears in lights in the Ginza in Japan.
Paddington is a major feature on Action Medical Research’s float in the Lord Mayor’s Show in London.
1988 A contract is signed with Hanna-Barbera Inc for the production of a cell animated television programme for worldwide distribution.
Paddington’s official biography, ‘The Life and Times of Paddington Bear’ by Russel Ash with Michael Bond, is published by Pavilion Books in association with Michael Joseph.
1990 A 29’ tall Paddington float balloon makes the first of several appearances in Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parades, televised live across the United States to an estimated 60 million homes.
1994 A Paddington Bear soft toy is chosen by English tunnellers as the first item to pass through to their French counterparts when the two sides of the Channel Tunnel are linked up.
A Paddington Bear stamp is included in a Royal Mail greetings stamp book.
Michael Bond opens the Paddington retail stand at Paddington Station.
1996 In France, Bon Marchee department store presents Paddington as a unique English character as part of their on-going English month promotions.
Harper Collins publishes Michael Bond’s autobiography, ‘Bears and Forebears - A Life So Far’.
A Paddington Bear design is Marks & Spencer’s fastest selling pyjama.
1997 R.W. Alley becomes the new illustrator of the Paddington picture books with the publication of 'Paddington and the Christmas Surprise'.
June Michael Bond is honoured with an OBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List for his services to children’s literature.
September The first 13 episodes in Cinar Films’ brand new animated series is transmitted by ITV in the UK and Teletoon in Canada.
November 1997 Paddington is the theme of Hamley’s Christmas windows in London’s Regent Street.
The Glades Shopping Centre Bromley, England, stages a Paddington Bear Christmas Display Scheme and Grotto.
April 1998 The London Toy and Model Museum opens a special exhibition in honour of Paddington’s 40th anniversary year. Due to run for six months, it is extended by popular demand.
December Paddington launches his first website - proving Paddington is moving with the times!
1999 'A Bear Called Paddington' becomes "Ursus Nomine Paddington" when a Latin edition is published, translated by Peter Needham.
24th February 2000 A permanent, life-sized bronze statue of Paddington is unveiled by Michael Bond on Paddington Station in London.
2001 Paddington's 25 year association with the UK charity, Action Medical Research, is marked with the publication of a new book, "Paddington Goes to Hospital".
November 2002 Marshall Fields department stores in the USA choose Paddington as their Christmas theme, featuring the story of "Paddington and the Christmas Surprise" in displays and in the windows of the famous State Street store in Chicago.
February 2003 A new version of the stage show, "The Adventures of Paddington Bear" begins a nationwide tour of theatres throughout the UK.
Paddington launches a brand new website!
2005 The Polka Theatre in Wimbledon presents ‘A Bear Called Paddington’.
2006 Party at the Palace - on 25th June Paddington joins celebrations at Buckingham Palace.
Paddington’s image appears on a set of special stamps from Royal Mail.
2007 Paddington stars in a new series of television and radio ads for Marmite.
July Michael Bond is honoured with a Doctorate from the University of Reading.
June 2008 ‘Paddington Here and Now’, the first new novel for almost 30 years, is published with a launch at the Peruvian Ambassador’s residence in London.
October 13th Paddington celebrates his 50th anniversary with a special tour of London.
October 13th Paddington's image features on the Google home page.
February 2009 Paddington can now be found in British Airways’ in-flight children’s Skyflyer packs.
March Paddington appears on Google Street View and can be seen at six different locations.
August Paddington launches a new website.
March 2010 Paddington becomes the new face of Robertson’s marmalades.
February 2011 Paddington & Co. Ltd. create an interactive social page for Paddington using the Facebook website facebook.com/paddingtonbear.
November iPaddington is here! Available for iPad, iTouch or iPhone is a new version of the first classic Paddington Bear story.
15th March 2012 Paddington is officially confirmed as Britain’s Favourite Ever Animated Character in the British Animated Awards 2012.
11th April The thirteenth novel 'Paddington Races Ahead' is published.