Paddington (CBBC, 1976)/The Adventures Of Paddington (CBBC, 1979-1980)
This is another show from the 70s that was repeated for several years afterwards, so I’m sure that many people ended up enjoying this. Paddington was based on the popular series of books by Michael Bond that launched in the 50s and ran for several years. I’m fairly sure that I actually hadn’t read any of these when I first show the TV version, but I did eventually.
One day, a bear from Peru is found at Paddington train station by the Brown family, who decided to adopt him, having no problem with a big bear in their house. I hope they never asked about what he got up to in the woods though. Every episode of the TV series, which launched almost two decades after the first book, was only about five minutes long, so plenty had to happen in a rather short time.
The narrator of the stories, who also voiced all of the characters, was Sir Michael Hordern, who later went on to become the host of Noel’s House Party. The character of Paddington is famous for a doing a few things. Firstly, he always wore a big coat and hat, along with a suitcase, and he had something of a fondness for marmalade sandwiches. But he soon discovers that London is rather different to Peru.
But what is best remembered about this show is the distinctive animation style. Paddington was a 3D model who walked around using the stop-motion style, while the rest of the human cast were all 2D cut-outs who didn’t walk around, and their mouths didn’t even move when they spoke. All of the backgrounds were rather bright and sparse too.
There were two series (which each had different titles), and these would be repeated on CBBC well into the 80s and even the 90s. Paddington would go on to appear in further series. In the late-80s there was a proper animated cartoon, and again it seems that Hanna-Barbera were the production company behind this, but I don’t remember that one, this will always be the definitive version for me.
And there would be further animated series in 1991 and 2019. But there was proof of how popular Paddington still was all these years on with the two films, featuring a computer-animated version of our hero, that were very well received, and must’ve won over yet another generation of new fans all around the world. He really is almost as terrific as Bungle.