Michael Bond

Michael Bond with Paddington Bear
Forename/s: 
Thomas Michael
Family name: 
Bond
Awards and Honours: 
Work area/craft/role: 
Industry: 
Interview Number: 
680
Interview Date(s): 
16 Nov 2015
Interviewer/s: 
Camera: 
Production Media: 

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Interview
Interview notes

Bond began writing in 1945 whilst stationed with the army in Cairo and sold his first short story to the magazine London Opinion. He was paid seven guineas, and thought he "wouldn't mind being a writer". 

In 1958, after producing a number of plays and short stories and while working as a BBC television cameraman (where he worked on Blue Peter for a time), his first book, 'A Bear Called Paddington', was published. This was the start of Bond's series of books recounting tales of a bear from "Darkest Peru", whose Aunt Lucy sends him to the United Kingdom, carrying a jar of marmalade; the Brown family found the bear at Paddington Station, and adopted him, naming the bear after the railway station. By 1967, Bond was able to give up his BBC job to work full-time as a writer.

(Source: Wikipedia)

 

Transcript

SPEAKER: M20

Intervi
This is a history project interview with Michael Bond.
SPEAKER: M1
Conducted on the 16th of November 2015. We're at Michael's house in might available. And the interviewer is not in SPENCE That's just like anything to set things up. So Michael just for the record could you could you tell me. Your name. And where and when you were born.
SPEAKER: M19
My name is Michael Bond rogue. My full name is Thomas Michael Bond. But my my parents. Split the bone of contention at the moment because both. My parents called me a Christian. Michael Bond but my father's father.
SPEAKER: M5
Was upset because he had. His name was Thomas and he was in the name Thomas. And so they added it to to please him. Thomas microbiome never years. Thomas because they didn't like it. But just recently having been called microbiome bond. For over 90 years. The world has changed. And if you sign any kind of agreement they do insist that you have your first name. And so they had to use the name Thomas. Which doesn't I don't like at all.
SPEAKER: M1
That's life. And and when and where were you born.
SPEAKER: M5
I was born in Newbury Berkshire in 1926 in West Mills. My father worked in the post over some and when I was about six weeks old he was promoted to. A post in reading. So we re emigrated to return and lived in the same house for most of my childhood.
SPEAKER: M2
And this is the most I can say about it. But I had very nice parents. My father played the most precious thing for girls show was. Your time. So we used to play cricket up in British force play Fire come out. I would soon as he got home I used to to him rarely had his evening meal and then waiting for him to get we're playing cricket in growth prospect park and it meant bowling balls of me and I would hit them and he would run and get them. So it's drawn by the Balakot by the. Sea. But he just seems to enjoy doing it. Let me throw my mother the war war was all good things got very very bad at that time. She she made sure we always had it. When there weren't really food like life. I just. Looking back it did become very difficult.
SPEAKER: M8
In that respect. But I. I uh. I had a lovely grandfather who came to see with. And.
SPEAKER: M2
He drummed into me that if you want to do something in life you can do it but you got to devote yourself entirely to it. You got to forget plating your. And so when I became a writer.
SPEAKER: M3
Which Holmes called a long time afterwards. I followed that rule. I just.
SPEAKER: M5
Stared so hard because you get to a stage where it does become your life. And particularly in this day his age really.
SPEAKER: M3
Rears your computer because you come downstairs in the morning and press a button and there are words on the screen and you start off and you can't help it. So for a long time I've worked seven days a week. I read their site work on Christmas Day if I like it at the moment. It's not a ground book as I enjoy doing it. But this is I surrounded.
SPEAKER: M1
And what about education. I mean we. Were you happy at school did you have a happy school. No I didn't have I had I didn't go to school to up one of the reasons I didn't like it was because.
SPEAKER: M3
I went into a fee paying school. We go to Randy when I was old enough. And I went to a Catholic school. Not because we were Catholics or we were very religious but my mother liked the colour of a blazer. Which she's not the best reason she's in school and I suffered rather there because. That being a.
SPEAKER: M5
Being a normal Catholic. I was certainly ostracized. And I was.
SPEAKER: M3
Like wait for me to arrive writer and so. Now I do remember. I got rather fed up with it. It is in the school grounds I had. An old Well it was originally called the Coffee problem. If they wanted to talk to somebody you shove them into the coffee shop new. We're desperate. You're not going to collapse. And I remember a gang of youths coming towards me. And. I say I don't know quite. What I said but I made it up on the spot. I said for the bus to you your. Peers is atrocious and you do not meet me. There was a for wife that you know was referring to a minister adequate punishment. This was just a photo for a little while. People do say oh one day can you tell us what you said to do to so-and-so. And I used very sort of I could repeat it. And then we had. There was a Catholic school but so they had provision that the brother was teaching English had me up on the platform and said Can you repeat to the class what you said. And I said. Yes. But both of those ranges. Your. Impudence as a church just as you do not receive any to be paid to administer adequate punishment. So you said right well we do explained everything. Every word you said that.
SPEAKER: M19
I couldn't say that was the story I was up for. But the ball was on by then. And I through the age the age of 14. And. I worked for a year. For. A salacious legal office his office. And. I was paid ten shillings a week you know. After after year I plucked out courage and. Went to see the chief clerk and say I'm say nowadays but I was petrified and I.
SPEAKER: M4
Went to knock on his door and I kept missing it when I did hit it. It was a big crash.
SPEAKER: M3
He voted he is said well Bond does it do. And I said I was. Really hoping for a rise who was going to stay here. And he just sort of voted for it around. He said well. I don't want you ever coming to me aka here no tourist expensive. It wasn't going to be in the next few years of speech any more than that. So I thought well it's really much more to life and this must be. A lie. I was very keen. When it when I was small on making things to do we really really do amplifies that kind of thing. And then suppose readers sets and. I saw an advertisement in the local paper saying want is somebody interested in wireless so I wrote so off. And to my amazement I got her letter back with the BBC heading and it was the BBC at that time were erecting low power transmitters all over the country which in the event of any craft coming over labour they went through as they were into it and then came back down again. And the engineer in charge it was just. That just so the sister was.
SPEAKER: M4
Assembling and he said Do you know what. Ah so yes I said. This is the year I was ah and I don't think he would be amazed when he gave me the job. I mean this this would never happen these days. So that's how I joined the BBC. And that changed my life you know. And. I say BBC did I do it I was 17. Working on this transmitter as our inventory was near the end maybe because. A little. Worse. Six months later. It was paid a way to see where we were at the top of the building.
SPEAKER: M2
And what was at the bottom there is what they called a British restaurant. Rich Russo Lou price restaurant was horrible and. We rehearsed the same level of an approaching airplane and suddenly rushed to the window and said oh god is it is that don't you. And where is your holiday to visit my friend. There was. A string of bombs dropped. It was it was but it was a plane obviously I spoke to to to Germany and. I think along with the others I had I died AIDS six times as each protocol got nearer and nearer and ivory towers tried to get up. It. Got blown down again. And. We were very fortunate because it because it was going flat I was. Very low. The bombs were carried. It. Was horrible. Pardon me almost horizontally into the building. So. We escaped. On top of the building but then underneath parts of it was all going away and. Everything landed. All the people in the restaurant I believe. Were killed. We managed to climb down what was left of.
SPEAKER: M3
The stairs and first thing I saw was I remember was a girl whose lives have been blown over. The second thing I saw when I got down the bottom was. Somebody putting their hand up. Flew through through rubble an elderly hand group had the same force teeth in it. And we were we were extremely lucky to escape. So I've come to your conclusion.
SPEAKER: F2
I'm not going to be. I'm not going to be killed by a blast of bombs or anything like that because choice is my choice more my life when I was in the Army I was. Learning to throw. Grenades and now we're sending in a trench with. A sergeant next to me and I was on his left.
SPEAKER: M2
And he has no people on his right. And. I took my pet pages to the grenade and threw a grenade in.
SPEAKER: M4
It was fine but the guy next to me on the other side he paints a bit took a spin out of and dropped the grenade into the ditch and the sounds are very commonly picked it up through it. I have a spare. A.
SPEAKER: M2
Few years later. A very but it saved us from what might have been death or losing legs or. On another occasion much much later on after the war was over. We were having trouble with the IRS. I was a writer by then the my my editor who. Had the head of the company coming over from America and he wanted to take us out to dinner and he. Tried to break up for a restaurant inside Kensington which was very popular restaurant but couldn't because it was full up and so he popped up for restaurants a little way away. And halfway through our mayor we heard a bomb go. And raise a bomb into this restaurant he wanted to go. And I think that 30 people in the restaurant right or in the window they all died. So that's another one. It just wasn't meant.
SPEAKER: M1
So you sort of feel touch wood can kind of tell you that you've referred to your time in the army so you've referred to it when you were in the army. Yeah. But before that you were it you first joined up and with the airforce didn't you. When I joined the RAAF when I was 17 there I haven't been having an airplane as well and. I nearly wound up in an airplane because we used to go to the Isle of Wight. When I was small and I persuaded my father.
SPEAKER: M2
That you could cause a flight from C C to the other boys back quite cheaply. And I persuaded him to book some tickets. And we had our grandfather staying with us. It was a lovely man my grandfather but we had the first and only. Family argument I recall because. He said if you. Grew up in an airplane you said. I'm going to leave home. Here is it for you. If we amendment to fly cultural given this way. And so I never went up and I actually as a very I was a ghost. Child was sick. If we went old school I you're singing and a bus. Ah I was the one who ended in the back throwing up and dirty coming near.
SPEAKER: M7
So that was for reason I'd never been ever in there. I know what I would want when I joined the or if I was sent up to Perth in Scotland for my flying training. For the beginning of it anyway where she will be flying in a tiger mouth. And.
SPEAKER: M2
I could remember it was a cross run right. As we were very deliberate as grass runway to take her off I was laying here on the side. So we have large server remember the pilot who is. Trying to make pay rules go really couldn't believe it. And the downside of that was that. It took a long time to. Get it closer to the. Powers That Be in your area. If I wasn't suitable. For Air pilot. I uh. I was sent out to Canada and we. Went. From being a pilot I trained to be a navigator which is. Not a very happy. Situation overseas because it was pretty traumatic. So pen and pencil navigation and a map and. If you had a favourite approach of the pencil point break reporter. So. We had to go through. Training. I was a fish in the primaries. And in fact being a navigator there was. What was quite a gift because. On the prairies were high big grain elevators. And and we all had the. Name of the place painted on. The roofs that it wasn't any great. Problem. I was. Along with pleasure doesn't know there's a receipt but it's very good individually. And I arrived on the of Sheffield. And I think it must have been the coldest winter ever in England. And it was so cold that we had a stove which were got very red hot. And I set fire to my I believe I set fire to my great great coat and we were given the choice of. Either going in the coal mines. Or going into a minute. And we thought very deeply about this you know which was better which was worse. I don't I probably to choose. To here in the army. And it was one of the best things I did. Because. I think any army in those days. Is a very mixed bunch of people. And you met people from different walks of life and it is somehow I was always glad I did because. I grew up that way. And. I. Dare any trouble was. Having you so light to my great great courage I had a. Big burden. I was pushed it up to Cheshire Chester. And I when I arrived by myself. And I met the. Man. As I went to the gates I saw a military figure Pershing I sort of. Sidled up to him sideways. Heavy wouldn't there just my great. Great character but certainly the credibility believe his eyes. So he said right you want to charge your car great. Child great for we. Can come and see me. But when I got inside. This camp. There I was a dog. And I bent down and. They were distraught. Voice rang out from all sides of the pretty green camera you and. I was later ruled Oh my.
SPEAKER: M6
Shit on my back note dashed across on per acre and as fast as I could. And when I got to the other side it was a sergeant he said you're. Not fit.
SPEAKER: M9
Is it's against the rules to run across the river. Pretty great you back where you started this road. And come January you saw it sir I did. And when I got up to he said that Dog passage.
SPEAKER: M4
He said that it was a CEO's dog you know fit to Gennaro. So sir you're confined to. Confined a kind of for a week. And I saw first two weeks to try. And. Find a Camp. But from. From there I went to Egypt. I spent. 18 months in Egypt and then I when I came out I came back to the BBC because when you really see a forces after the war.
SPEAKER: M2
You had the right to go back to what they really heard before the war. So I went back to the BBC. And. I was sent to the. Two countries should really have this new place for foreign broadcasts. Which was. It was all for all foreign nationals and they had some wonderful people. They had 70 cork below so Speaker who was Russian and he escaped from Russia during the war over the grinding period there. Curtis. There was a. Pirate ish. Monitor who. Escaped from Poland. Up on his horse and here's the right to work in the morning and later his horse said in the bicycle shed. It's. Very strange they say they were but I. I enjoy it. I met a lot of very interesting people man and it was a grant and aid. Arrangement. And.
SPEAKER: M6
There came a time when the government cut the a lot of the front foot in half because they were getting short of money. And. I was given the option to tell you taking a retirement or going anywhere else in the BBC that I wanted and in fact I had been wanting to get into television for a long time because I was very interested in photography. But I wasn't allowed to transfer because they took the view that. If they change Europe for some particular job then it's the sort of guide to securing I was being trained as an engineer.
SPEAKER: M9
Without really listening equipment. They had to. Sit but I said I'd like to get into television and two days later I was in television and it so happened. It was this was the start of. A line crew. That. I was really the first people in line. Which. Was. In its infancy I was losing a lot of people because. The BBC was babies here and they had one channel in those days the ITV or something else. So they were they were news you know to people because ITV were. Probably seeing all sorts of things like holidays and. Car decisions and so on. So it was a from that point of view. It was of. Course a good time to during the BBC because I had a great need to you know. And. That was my first introduction to the world of television. And in those days. It was a very.
SPEAKER: M11
Different rules of the road. It is no good because everything is very basic.
SPEAKER: F4
That is it.
SPEAKER: M11
And to be hitting me because no is was one of the equals of working or working a shooter. Fred you had to. Your stage use terror. Alerts for some serious some serious social returns and a lot of noise came from the fact that the cameras. All had very heavy cables in those days and they had they had neck guards around the bottom of the.
SPEAKER: M10
Tripod. So.
SPEAKER: M11
If they if they made a move somebody had to come behind. If they have off the floor because they were afraid heavy cables was anywhere a straight choice choices either they're out there. And. So one of the first things you did in those days right when you joined the joint television was to pick up cables follow cameras around. But they. Did it because they were so short of people. You find yourself doing all sorts of different jobs. You had tried your hand to be with operation and the. In those days they had some curves during the whole television for who. Okay just to be clear this.
SPEAKER: M1
This was all going out live. We're talking about the mid 1950s now.
SPEAKER: M14
Yes yes. So that was you. That was your July. Yes.
SPEAKER: F5
And uh I mean can you remember any particular um well scary moments if you like on the program.
SPEAKER: M11
No it was scary moment because you never got cameras were very heavy. Maybe you need two people to take it off and they're managing uh uh uh were. There's not a back to remember BBC doctor coming around and the question people for the work and. Uh. In those days the Kurds had. What they called a tone a technical operations manager and he was the one who. Went to forward planning and. Decided hey the cameras were all where the cameras are going to be collected. So you can read them and good. Not only to your. Or other people's you lose and so on. And it was. Quite a hairy time because you never go through her room oh very rarely go through for example that kind of kind of breaking down and the worst I mean it for me was when I. Was doing a camera for the first time I was. A reporter from the studios at night very we had a terrible television series. All right. Shippers worst shippers which is everything the BBC theater. And. I was on the camera there in the girls with the picture of the stage.
SPEAKER: M16
I was expecting to take many pictures with it but one by one there was a four camera effort one by one all three. The other Havers worked. I find myself there as well. But but so far I sure as I got quite good marks for that. Strange things happened in those days because I did I did I was working in the theater because. I'd always had a. Sword. I was brought up on this as a man in my youth because we had a housing ready to to two theaters and.
SPEAKER: M17
It was always a big treat to go and see a variety show or something. And in those days people. With a tenant could have have an act.
SPEAKER: M16
And it lasted a lifetime. They I mean you or in country performing the same act but there are no days where television was once a Negro take out of their house.
SPEAKER: M10
But I I show and I shall do anything operating on camera. So I became for being for the B camera chucker which virtually any version and camera became and I moved number four fairly quickly because the word was growing old times as things progress rose up in the through endings so we become in the end a senior camera that it was.
SPEAKER: M16
Being on the camera occur in those days it was Rock Roll is rather strange because they are a part of a big organization. You moved around as a unit to divorced and away from the ABC and I think the BBC in those days was a marvelous organization. I think it uh it's I think it's lost something in recent years but real change is but it was people from other countries used to send other representatives over to see how the BBC were because they were really. Probably the best television set up in the world. That time I had a day and one of the interesting things about being at that time was they were always pushing the boundaries.
SPEAKER: M11
Ever written to see what they could do. And if you had a good crew.
SPEAKER: M12
Who did a pretty good program for a or they joined get your next time so you tended to. If you please just shoot your head directors became your thing your life which which is good and bad for.
SPEAKER: M1
For my pains I mean when you talk about you know the BBC was always you know experimenting and pushing to the limits of what was possible. Which programs.
SPEAKER: M12
Well mostly that would be mostly drama programmes or if you worked they had a they that I worked on a programme which was about Jesse Matthews and it was a two to choose to do four. There were there were there were three studios that were used in in library but there was shooting day for drama. There was a church and then we came for children's programmes and there was H which is was a small pseudo which was which was a very good learning studio because it was the traditional but it had evening shares of wore it one way or another. Anybody was anybody came. Plus your camera person. But you didn't have a great deal of lube and it was fat people faithful famous famous people used to come in in the 80s in particular. They were the sort of programs you know.
SPEAKER: M14
And as camera crews you want dedicated to just doing children's programs or just doing drama.
SPEAKER: M12
Well I never have been but I did get a reputation for for children's programs.
SPEAKER: M14
Ruth Patti Baxter not with Betty Baxter or Julie Baxter or Hugh Weldon or Baxter.
SPEAKER: M12
Her father saw them for because the crew always did a good program for any fact type. I was by that time I was a senior cameraman and I crew during I. I used to prevent other people on for him to operate the camera. So it a good way of learning. But I got the reputation of uh being being her character Erica. Her crew and in fact I had a letter from her the other day out of the blue.
SPEAKER: M18
She she's teamed up. She she's living in London and Chelsea were with the studio where no studio manager and I said a time she is Israel. I wouldn't mind seeing her but touch her. She hasn't been yet. Was this I mean it sounds to me like to be constantly working life like that must've been.
SPEAKER: M1
Really stressful. So I mean was this. Was this an anxious time or was this a happy time in your working life.
SPEAKER: M12
It was it was nice to be anxious as I say I hired somebody off my crew. I'm going to lunch that day we both agree it was the happiest time of her life. It was in a way it was a bit like being a being a pilot or an airplane. Really. I mean if it is your pilot or an airplane they have a bumpy landings during the day for you and your suffering seizures nice. And if you can't remember with the BBC and had a bumpy bumpy trip. Or anything went wrong or earned it. If they weren't right. It was very very rewarding. And they could be you could have the literally bumpy ride in those days with pseudo flaws me not as good as they might be. And if you had a long track record could be quite hairy. But also people were very eager interviewed what went on in television to do. I remember I was on a.

SPEAKER: M1
My my my mind is dry. I was on a camera crane caught a bow and I developed a streak of oil somewhere and it so happened a very famous television critic was sitting over in the galleries watching your television word and he's he said he was talking about the first were. He said part from the fact that. You do have. Problems occasionally with rats eating food cabling. He said a lot particularly knew that they were having trouble with a more screening.
SPEAKER: M3
The truth never came out.
SPEAKER: M5
But in terms of some of your other career I mean you started working. If I'm right. I learned driving about 55 56. Yes I did.
SPEAKER: M4
But by the way did you. What was your relationship with Alexandra Palace did. Did you have a period working at Alexandra Palace.
SPEAKER: M1
No I joined them just as I recall others dating his the pals that I went to.
SPEAKER: M9
I found a couple of times because they they love to think that during news reading and other kind of thing over there. But the studios. By then we're producing anything really big quickly set up movie leverage and library.
SPEAKER: M1
Then there is a lion Grove. Well I wasn't lying. I watch television centre being built.
SPEAKER: F2
So I was so.
SPEAKER: M13
It was a marvelous time actually because when we were where we were then moved over to the television center.
SPEAKER: M1
They were all these studios and everyone was working to take me home and right in the studio and there'd be a show going on in every every studio. But even then there's your issue Turkey say I'm not going out for a sec. They couldn't take it in the interview around it and say something like Oh my word. Where does a newsreader does it. You sure do. They had actually stated then but uh it was a big machine for churning out a good programs I think. Um I. What is extraordinary I find out if you open a paper route television programs any paper and look at it the vast number of programs. Day and night during it is a show me. And I think in the sense that it's inevitable but it's by interface you affect your quality really I mean you if if somebody thinks of an idea for paint painting the next door neighbor's house or send a 5 over to programs as say you say see both of them it is hard to be hard to think of originals story line something but a bloated but taking you back to your time line drive.
SPEAKER: M5
At the same time you were writing stories you were working hard as a TV cameraman but you were. From the start you were writing stories. Well you know.
SPEAKER: M1
Yes. I wrote my first story when I was in the army in Egypt and it was called cut in Hazel's piece of string and it was about a recruiting officer who was in a nightclub. I persuaded.
SPEAKER: M13
People just to sign on for the year and then where they went or he returned this story. I send it over there. It was to my amazement. Some weeks later I had a letter from London opinion and where I sent it to. Well not even the letter. It just just sent a cheque so we can is saying London opinion by a microphone. Seven guineas which I. Reviewed which was quite big money in those days when you were in the Army and I had a terrible job to catch you anyway because the. The Egyptians didn't run television bankers too was never abated. Even now he purchase a post office in what UK anyway. I sometimes wish I'd kept it and I had a friend. There are.
SPEAKER: M6
But what. What did Paddington come from. Is there a connection between your working on children's programmes and television. I didn't.
SPEAKER: M1
Intend to write a book.
SPEAKER: M13
In fact I was sitting there not one of the nice things about working in television is that you worked very long days and very often just for a week because it rained for days. Doctor you know well well over the basic forgeries.
SPEAKER: M11
And I I don't you tell me about sitting in your flat on the pool table I write.
SPEAKER: M8
Yes yes I was.
SPEAKER: M1
I had the day off and I had a blank sheet of paper in the typewriter and I had no ideas whatsoever. And it so happened that. A little time which I was living in a flat new Portobello Road and it was like a caravan and really was a rotten river flats and it all to go to bed at night you had bigger things to do for them. Sir. It was very basic and I looked over my shoulder and looked around. We didn't have very much. No. I saw a toy bear which I had bought. One Christmas Eve the previous Christmas a year from Selfridges because. I was doing some shopping on Christmas Eve and I started to snow and I went into some fridges and rent incense or a department.
SPEAKER: M10
And came across this one bear sitting on the shelf looking very sorry for itself. And it sounds a bit odd perhaps because I want to wear it and I went back somehow if I felt socially spare all by itself because this horrid department to be stripped of his bare and I I bought it as as a stocking figure.
SPEAKER: M1
So. And before it Paddington because I'd always wanted to use the. Paddington as a name because it is it's it seems rather important but rather nicely important is it sounds very rich country. And I had actually I mean you're right. I. Made many stories for the BBC right here and I nearly used the name for an uncle who Uncle Paddington but I called him Uncle Partington and so I called the spare Paddington it seemed to suit him very well and I they gave me the everything words for what I wanted to get my mind working. But I had no intention whatsoever to write a book or I'd put down the paper Mr Bare for a smart move into an area where he stationery which is how he came to such an unusual name for a bear and it sort of caught my fancy and I began thinking about uh time I I walk up a government surplus but for Curb myself and also government surplus hot hot hot weather hot and so I gave that. And I started adding things. I in 10 working days I find I've written enough for it to be a book. I still hadn't. Hadn't intended to be a book. Which which is I think another way to write a book because you're very pleased yourself. I was putting down my uh showed it to my agent and he talked to me he said yeah this is good could make a very good series.
SPEAKER: M4
So if you were writing it like that were you writing it with children in mind as a possible reason for not even not even that I think is one of the big.
SPEAKER: M1
I wasn't writing it. Were there any age group in mind. I think it's been very valuable partly because. When it comes to making you feel as strong as an adult audience we're not. I was just recently desecrated decorated pilots and on that day the number of adults who were sending emails was a couple of very full pages. That was some 0 0 Paddington find and I get I get to this day I get. I've always answered letters because I particularly children's lives this because I think a shortage of bothered to write a letter at least to get there is answered. The fact is that you never get a letter from a child. It doesn't like here because they're kind of you know forget it.
SPEAKER: F1
But uh I uh what was occurring in my mind is this.
SPEAKER: M6
Well you were just talking when you wrote it. There was no notion of writing it. Writing a book or having a particular audience in mind. You voted for your own enjoyment. I wrote it for my own enjoyment and had the character taken a clear. It wasn't around to carry 300 characters very clear in my mind.
SPEAKER: M1
And I very quickly made my mother father Mr. his brand because my my mother I'd put around its neck. I had members of children arriving at Reddy station during the war or with their. Little suitcases and escaping from the bombing in London.
SPEAKER: M7
And I they gave him a label around his neck.
SPEAKER: M1
No. Pleased or comfortable in spirit. Thank you. And the thing here is it is very important. An interesting thing about the thing here is you got a job with it when it's published in America. You got to be very careful. Surely. Thank you because. So read to somebody. A girl in a bank recently heard been helping a party of rich Americans. On their business. And she'd done a very good job. And she was rather incensed because nobody says thank you. And did she say you might at least say thank you. And one of the guys said we don't say things here in America because that shows a weakness. So you've got to be very careful and make sure we're doing it because I think. I think I think the world has got very every man for himself. Really I think that side to Paddington. I hope we see some good. He always always brought up. By my father if I was going nowhere a street. Oh we were going over a street and some elderly people came past. You said to one side. Raise your head. I want my life up. My father always war had never and I never saw him go. Neither side ever had in case he met someone he knew even when he went to the seaside. The a river in the sea and he were. At the real estate really.
SPEAKER: F4
But is the world changed.
SPEAKER: M1
I think it is is a very necessary part of foundation and you do find or when it gets published overseas you have certain problems. I mean when that was where it was. Went to Israel he had the skull cap he took a razor. Sir I just put my foot there.
SPEAKER: F4
And uh. Yeah he's a he's he's been.
SPEAKER: M1
It's been so successful I think he's. Well I never expected it to go to another book. Really. When it was of course erm was published. But I do remember when it was published I went into a big big shop went into my department and I couldn't see couldn't see when it's all so said in a loud voice. I wonder can you order me a copy of a vehicle Perdita. And the guy said oh we've got the moorland in the cupboard and he's just had a delivery Shearer told me Listen don't. If you go into it. If I go into a shop and you're in look this year will this department.
SPEAKER: M8
That can be a bit depressing if they go haven't got any either. So right. Which is good news. Oh that that story. It was just bad news sir I would give it up on that kind of thing. But I'd also most book shoppers will tell you that they're quite aware where authors come in because they see a certain book suddenly appear. Oh well but but but better share.
SPEAKER: M4
And what about the subsequent books. I mean the first book was written without any notion that it would become a book. Yes. What is subsequent books also enjoyable to write told.
SPEAKER: M1
Or were they more of a of a sort of an inch or two right. One of the things about Paddington is you put him into you put your leading character into a situation where you think hey is he going to get of that because he's he's not a bad votes person but he's is very accident prone. And sometimes he makes me makes me laugh when I'm writing. I remember one story I was writing. And he he'd seen something about his brother having. A shop window and he wanted to explore that and he he he came downstairs at number thirty two Windsor Gardens and he put it over for spare. She's had this skies for the Christmas and it was a big long beard but he still had this no hat on and so on. And Mrs Bird's says hurry up or you'll be late. And he was very upset because he'd been recognised that their US was ready by. His I mean it made me laugh when I went over it because it's a speech that I'm sure it to be.
SPEAKER: M4
He's very real you talk about him as a person you talk about him you don't talk about him is your creation you talk about him as an independent person.
SPEAKER: M8
No.
SPEAKER: M10
In fact I had a nice card from I had it of I was first to do a film so planes and station a few weeks ago and the film company had plotted it all out and that was your I was sent over then the first class lounge. No I came as that came in over to putting into structure where I met somebody else and go to work again and it went on to the end of the platform. This really is the last straw and leave for a shot re re retried there I mean noise and in Paddington is ever present it is impossible to hear what people were saying and we had to give up on the filming and the guy here is there any interviewer he. Discovered.
SPEAKER: M1
The first class lounge which I'd never been in before but myself it's like a luxury hotel this is a code. I don't have any rooms for their people sitting in chairs and reading their books and their papers and having their drinks and look as if they live the night and we ate we took over when it went the rooms and this guy got rid of all the people in there and we had it to ourselves and then he would we sat on the sofa and fortunately he'd put down on paper. So the question is is going to ask me because I answered everyone we got on terribly well together and he wrote me sent me a card just afterwards thanking me for all the girls was there and into your knees. It didn't occur to me until I saw you leaving and that if you are Paddington.
SPEAKER: M11
To me he's he's actually very real you know.
SPEAKER: M5
And how how long after the publication of the first book did you leave the BBC and become a full time. The first book had. Some good reviews um.
SPEAKER: M1
And growth on the number recommended reignites. You have to make me think or debate the publishers think it would be nice to have a second one.
SPEAKER: M2
Otherwise I hadn't intended to um. But Billy Collins.
SPEAKER: M1
Harper Collins the publishers He here is very much behind a huge degree to Africa on safari mercy. When I read at the Second World I caught a cold war time and he said. He read it. He said okay we're saying I like the story of the title and he was quite right actually because for quite a time pay for.
SPEAKER: M8
This the sales were better copays and rent out but more white writing didn't make us because who thought well as it was well before this record that runs for us which was a plus in the worry but not what I intended.
SPEAKER: F4
But it then phrased clearly other things.
SPEAKER: M1
Poland was the first overseas market and gradually some got published in different languages. I got to be careful because I the first farmers in Germany.
SPEAKER: M9
Either learned in German and somebody else I met somebody who did and they said Do you realize what they've done to your book I said no. They said well the they do this in cricket. So when he plays cricket they've changed it. He plays another game entirely. Um so like rugby football they kicking him around the Grey. Oh as I went there the last years that applies to those languages really but.
SPEAKER: M8
I think all that's been our days over the years.
SPEAKER: M12
Which you're probably the care for things. It is. So I say it. I think it's 30 or 40 languages. That's your fault.
SPEAKER: M5
And during the years when you were becoming well-known as the author of the Paddington books. But you were still at the BBC. Did it make you a sort of a celebrity within the BBC.
SPEAKER: M1
I mean did the people have a different attitude towards you because you were so well known in a different world to the extent that it was out of the Blue Peter. Oh just the interview sitting on a first faded piece.
SPEAKER: M3
I think it is.
SPEAKER: M1
But I got to the point really where I had to decide whether I was going to risk being a full time writer or Oh no leave the BBC before which I measure. Um it was at the time it was. It was that I mean that the BBC is a bigger entity. It does look after you. If you leave it. Because it total your life worked I have worked for the BBC for 21 to you. Know.
SPEAKER: M11
To the extent I may need to go and see the the boss man and see him in his office.
SPEAKER: M15
You got a handshake and you get them off. Well they give here but um I I.
SPEAKER: F3
Uh I know I know so I I had to leave really.
SPEAKER: M1
But it did mean much more time for writing and I know I did the I did paying the book a year for this number here. I think he's his probably my publisher and I've got half a book. I got the first two chapters in the last two chapters for a book. I need oh 0 three rich I I share I had. I used to go across to France to ride over from France and I I for 35 years had a flat and it was ideal because Lay really rang me up who over it me or anything. Um they had it had wonderful here or north. Northern France northern Paris um and I only got a bike and because the. English people I was right to the first television so where I was in Paris for the ride the agent there and we had a sort of. Quite a convivial evening. Right. At.
SPEAKER: M9
The end of it the guy who's in front of that you said is there anything in life that you wouldn't mind having to know. Probably not likely.
SPEAKER: M2
And I said I'd live in a lower flat and open my mind and being friends she said You're so rude. So there were my daughters there they really were living when they next week that I inherited that and. I it was earned by.
SPEAKER: M1
A lovely French couple who bought it for the retirement income. And. After about. Halfway through that you said they offered it to me if I wanted to buy it and I couldn't. People thought that was a but big mistake because. When they die rich they have got left to somebody in the family and there was a daughter who had no wish for it herself but she had a daughter aged 20 who couldn't wait to leave her when she obviously couldn't wait until she did it and she she rang me up and said I'm sorry but this year I have to cancel the take it back from it. It was a bit it was a big big loss because all sorts of things that have it's very difficult to find writing time here now because every post that comes somebody wanting things or.
SPEAKER: M6
For us wanting to interview a little more. There are over there those things but.
SPEAKER: M2
There are a lot of that there isn't quite literally there isn't a day reward either.
SPEAKER: M9
Good thinking between one and six charges. What money. You call Ders. So the mercenary during the endless livin but I wish to find that quite difficult because the of the these charities you pin pin stick money onto you can peel off or just peel off the money and spend.
SPEAKER: M8
These days.
SPEAKER: F2
I think the world's got a very unpleasant.
SPEAKER: M1
So is. There you beat us to Paris. Have Nots recruit from these dreadful. Yeah yeah yeah.
SPEAKER: M5
And it's sad to be talking about your flat the not that you had in Paris just two days after that. I mean it's it's a dreadful thing. Yes. But I think we're nearing the end.
SPEAKER: M4
Can I just ask you briefly going back to Paddington about the film and about your involvement with the recent film and your I mean were you Are you pleased with the film have you got a good relationship with the film makers.
SPEAKER: M1
Oh how I just read nervous about it because it could it could have been a disaster. I've had film scripts really before. Was there also was it. Had it been an American company it would really be a disaster because you see it in quotes and they work and it was because. It didn't because they went into.
SPEAKER: M15
A very high part of American way and decided that the even if it did terribly well it wasn't quite as rosy they were right.
SPEAKER: M9
It's a they dropped the idea and the people who filmed filmed it this time it's of a friendship. It suits you they're five and they they they make. Films for a family film release the supplied version of the money they're working on they really want to do three films they. They're working on. The next one.
SPEAKER: M16
Which the problem is that the putting the books have some different stories and the more sort of tenuous links that seized or links or whatever but if you wait here for a film for cinema you need some something different.
SPEAKER: M1
Yeah yeah. The whole thing is you know and they have they've been having trouble with this room. I don't think it was last April that the writer wrote it to me and so called terribly good scripts are cut right to. The shirt to finish that they show working on. But I think it is from what you said they all think he's got a what it was it if he runs.
SPEAKER: M4
I mean you do trust them. They they if you like they understand the character sufficiently. Yes they do.
SPEAKER: M16
Okay. Frame up so the the producer is somebody who is real or he doesn't just just by reducing the ego. Hey hey uh what is not what was nice about the film was the fact that everybody working on it being brought up but and spooks they were there for Paddington. It was it was a very nice atmosphere on the firm. And after television is it's a different. I mean the I don't know whether you've seen the film or not but have. I got the lift in the gloves as well that the took a whole evening because they had the Palestinians was page of set written to a traitor inside a taxi which was on a train. And as it went past they.
SPEAKER: M10
Had to go on quite a big circular train ride in the streets no to come in the same direction every time. And the first time they went past resident reimpose little people came in and said it. So they came round again the second time. The little people went out. And the third time somebody came and parked car in front quite the wrong room sir. It's just so I sat by myself with this plus waiting for the whole evening. But I went to. Went to those trees is it in beginning to me because and.
SPEAKER: M16
There is quite simply filming the bands driving through the front door. I was sat watching you on television camera and getting credit for stuff. Um for three hours and they had they had to go know. Whereas in television. You go to to restructure the low play version.
SPEAKER: M6
Well certainly for life television you can't do a second take can you. No no the whole point.
SPEAKER: M1
Yeah. No. Did I. I remember as a cameraman. Working on a play and I had the final shot.
SPEAKER: M15
Uh there is a court drama in the the head but the Georgia law comes into the job and you were the judge.
SPEAKER: M1
Yes house is a year old you're not guilty.
SPEAKER: M4
The foreman of the jury. Not a your.
SPEAKER: M1
Yes. And I had the final shot was I was charged when I saw his eyes were completely dead. And it's a 50/50 thing. You said quite the wrong thing. Yeah. You sure are saying getting a fair face. There were three of kind. Or another one or the other. Well I was there we were doing your play but Southern. Skyscraper we had all the debris or we'd like to hear. Never been thought it was played before he did his bit rental and went for a store in the back of the set and was shot on the window frame from a distance.
SPEAKER: M3
The second sentence I hear somebody else was not going to work.
SPEAKER: M5
The joys of live television. Yeah. Look at that. That's that's been fantastic.

Biographical