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Bond's bear;Profile;Michael Bond

Michael Bond (above) grew up in Reading, where he developed his passion for cinema and comics. He often said he would have found Paddington's stare useful during his encounters with his Jesuit teachers at Presentation College.

He left school at 14 to work in a solicitor's office, then got his first BBC job at the wartime radio transmitter in Reading. After RAF and army service, he built a career as a Lime Grove cameraman while writing short stories. His first child, Karen, was born in 1958 two months before "A Bear Called Paddington" was published. He also has a son, Anthony, and three grandchildren.

The success of the Paddington books meant he could write full-time from 1966, but he kept a foot in television by devising children's classics such as "The Herbs" and "Olga da Polga" as well as the Paddington series. During the 1970s he kept two desks in his Soho office - one for Paddington, one for everything else.

Michael Bond received an OBE on Paddington's behalf last year. Now 71, he lives in Maida Vale, London, which estate agents would call "Paddington borders".

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