Michael Bond has written a new Paddington Bear story for BBC Radio 4's Today programme, read yesterday by actor Hugh Bonneville.
In the story, which takes the form of a letter written to his Aunt Lucy, Paddington tells of trips to the theatre to watch Hamlet and to a Michelin starred restaurant. Both leave Paddington bemused.
He writes: "I'm sorry to have to say it, but people aren't as polite as they used to be and sometimes they are hard to understand. For instance, I was taken to the theatre recently and a man came on the stage in a terrible state. 'To be or not to be,' he said. 'That is the question.' Nobody called out, so I shouted ‘We don't know the question either,' and everybody started booing me!"
In an interview with Today presenter John Humphrys, Bond said he was pleased with the new Paddington film that was released on the 28th November. “What is very nice about the film is that it is terribly true to the spirit of the books,” he said.
Bond told The Bookseller in September that the film version of Paddington is “so dignified” and that he was happy to have a brief cameo. “I’m dressed up as if I’m going to the city and he says something about the weather and I reply. End of story. I retire at my peak!"
The only suggestion he gave the producers was to begin the film in the same way as the first book; with Paddington’s arrival at the station. “My feeling about it was that if you get the basic opening of the film similar to the opening of the book you can do anything really after that.”
He also said he had started work on a new Paddington book.
Love From Paddington, the sixth book in the series, was published by HarperCollins Children’s Books on the 6th November.