Ivor Wood’s Paddington Bear Puppet

Thanks everyone for staying tuned for this 2 month special, albeit a little 2 week break, on Paddington Bear. It’s been a really interesting ride with lots of different areas to cover from Ivor’s illustrations to Paddingtons clothing patterns. We’ve heard from lot’s of people including Barry Leith, Barry Macey and Josiane Wood, so thanks to everyone for their contributions. It has all culminated to this end point where we are proud to show you Paddington Bear himself!

Children avert your eyes as Paddington Bear is in the all together. Many, many thanks to Karen Jankel, the daughter of Michael Bond, for these wonderful photos of the nations favourite bear. Over the last few months I’ve been in regular contact with Karen and she’s been  most helpful in providing me with extra information on the animated, and not forgetting illustrated, world of Paddington. As we spoke she mentioned that Paddingtons creator and her father Michael Bond had the original Ivor Wood puppet at his house. With this she sent me through some photos and what a wonderful treat it was to see the little guy up and about.

This is indeed the exact same puppet that was used throughout the entirety of the first series and the beginning of the second. It is not confirmed but Barry Leith thinks he remembers Ivor making a second puppet for the second series if not the specials.

Ivor Wood's original puppet of Paddington Bear

Ivor Wood’s original puppet of Paddington Bear

He may look a little ragged now but after 40 years in a box what do you expect. Despite his first appearance, Paddington is in relatively good condition. We can still see his little button nose and stitched paws so precisely and lovingly detailed by Ivor. He appears to still have good movement as you can see from his expressive pose below. Paddington would have been created using ball and socket joints with ball bearings providing the ease of movement. There were no ready made kits in those days so Ivor would have made them all by hand and specific to every puppet. Something that is striking is that he looks so much like a teddy bear when all de-clothed. His fur is wrapped all around his body and not just in the visible parts we see in the show. Ivor’s attention to detail is flawless and it’s certainly helped to preserve Paddington Bear all these long years.

Ivor Wood's original puppet of Paddington Bear

Ivor Wood’s original puppet of Paddington Bear

It’s been an amazing few months and the pressure is now on to follow up with some more goodies. If anyone has a favourite show they’d like to see written about then just let me know.

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One thought on “Ivor Wood’s Paddington Bear Puppet

  1. Jon Rushby says:

    Wonderful articles on Ivor’s Paddington. As a boy in the 1970’s, I was always amazed by the inspired choice of using the plain, ‘flat’, 2D motif for the backgrounds and characters that filled Paddington’s world. Years later, as I’m being dragged into middle age, the genius of the series is more obvious than ever.
    I’d love to see some in depth articles on that unsung little series ‘Bertha”. I was actually nearly 20 when it was first aired, but I’d already caught the ‘Wood Bug’ a decade earlier and developed what has (so far) been a lifelong love and fascination for animation in all its guises.
    Keep up the good work!

    Like

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