Beckham and Benedict to design exclusive Paddington bear statues!

04 Oct 2014 02:52
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Statues will be placed in 50 locations around the capital from November 4
Star-studded design team includes: Emma Watson, Hugh Bonneville, Bear Grylls, Darcey Bussell, and even London mayor, Boris Johnson
VisitLondon.com to offer exclusive trail maps and information for visitors
Paddington will be released in UK cinemas on 28 November 2014
He started life in deepest darkest Peru, but Paddington Bear is set to hit the streets of London this month.
A series of statues designed by stars from Emma Watson to David Beckham will be placed around the capital in November to celebrate the launch of The Paddington Trail.
The bears, designed by Benedict Cumberbatch and star of the upcoming Paddington film, Nicole Kidman, will celebrate the film release of Paddington in UK cinemas on November 28.
The colourful statues will take fans along featuring London's key cultural and architectural must sees.
Nicole's co-stars in the film, Hugh Bonneville, Peter Capaldi, Julie Walters, and Ben Whishaw will also be involved in the project.
Explorer Bear Grylls, celebrated ballerina Darcey Bussell, Jonathan Ross, presenters Davina McCall, Ant McPartlin and Declan Donnelly, London mayor Boris Johnson, the Chelsea football team, and fashion designers Matthew Williamson, Christopher Kane and Rankin have all also committed to the project.
Hugh Bonneville spoke about his involvement: 'Paddington is an explorer - this trail is a wonderful way of bringing this to life and I hope it makes people look at London with fresh eyes.
'I am delighted to have been asked to design one of the bears and have created an ode to Paddington's favourite preserve. I can't wait for people to see it.'
The first of the designs have just been revealed: 'Paddington Bear' by creator Michael Bond, 'Paddington Shakesbear' by Michael Sheen, 'Paddington Sparkles' by The Saturdays' Frankie Bridge and 'Paddingtonscape' by artist, Hannah Warren.
'It is such a privilege to be designing a statue for The Paddington Trail, especially as it is raising money for the NSPCC - a charity I'm proud to support,' Michael Sheen said of his design, 'Paddington Shakesbear.'
'I am delighted to have been able to create Shakesbear and combine my love of the bear with my passion for the bard!'
The trail will be set up beginning 4 November until the end of December.
It will encompass museums, parks, shops, and iconic landmarks, all of which are inspired by Paddington's adventures in his favourite city.
Locations will be as far spread out as Heathrow to the west through to the O2 in the east, including The Royal Opera House, Museum of London, Horse Guards Parade, the Museum of Childhood, and of course, Paddington Station.
The trail will end in Selfridges, where a selection of miniature statues and a dedicated Paddington concept store will be on offer to shoppers.
The Selfridges Paddington Curiousity Shop will raise funds for the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children and the statues themselves will likewise be auctioned off later in the year to raise money for a variety of charities.
Paddington's origins date back several decades to when his creator, Michael Bond, bought a small bear from Selfridges on Christmas Eve 1956, as a present to his wife, and named him after the nearest railway station to which they lived.
In Michael Bond's subsequent tales, the bear finds himself alone in the big, unfamiliar city before being taken in by the Brown family. It's only then that he sets out to fully explore his newly adopted town.
Tourists and locals alike can get more information at VisitLondon.com, which has launched a dedicated portion of their website to the trail. Visitors will be able to download the trail map, share their photos of London's landmarks and discover the stories behind each statue and location.

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