Last night (Wednesday 10 December) Paddington Bear fans and famous faces came together at Christie’s for an auction of the first fifteen life-sized statues of the world’s favourite furry Peruvian explorer. These unique pieces of art that have lived on the streets of London since 4 November have raised over £460,000 for leading UK children’s charity, the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC).
The event, hosted by Paddington producer David Heyman and his wife Rose Uniacke, attracted many high-profile guests including Paddington producer David Heyman, Hollywood actors John Hurt and Hugh Grant and renowned artists Tracey Emin and Marc Quinn.
The auction featured the first fifteen of the exclusive bears designed by celebrities including David Beckham, Sandra Bullock and Benedict Cumberbatch. All of the bears attracted heated bidding, and a particular favourite was Marc Quinn’s bear, W2 1RH, which fetched the highest bid on the night – a fantastic £58,000. In addition to the specially designed bears, the auction featured a Paddington-inspired neon sign created by long-time NSPCC supporter, Tracey Emin, which raised £62,000.
The Director of VisitLondon.com, Julie Chappell, added “Hundreds of thousands of people have gone on their own expedition of London over the last month, to find Paddington Bear in all his varied forms. We’ve seen so many wonderful pictures of fans of all ages who have kept him company from Heathrow to the O2, taking in some of London’s iconic cultural and landmark locations.”
“As well as last night’s live auction, Christie’s is running a unique online charity auction to benefit the NSPCC featuring 36 of the statues from The Paddington Trail. This includes the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson’s creation, The Bear of London. It is a fantastic opportunity for fans and supporters to own their own piece of this iconic trail.”
Speaking about the event, NSPCC Chief Executive, Peter Wanless, said: “We’re delighted to be part of The Paddington Trail. Thanks to our generous guests, we’ve raised a fantastic amount of money, helping our ChildLine counsellors be there for children this Christmas – many of whom may have nowhere else to turn. But this is just the beginning as the online auction is now open, giving everyone the chance to welcome Paddington into their homes in the same way as Mr and Mrs Brown took him into theirs in Michael Bond’s stories, whilst supporting our work.”
British TV presenter Jonathan Ross said: “It’s wonderful to see how much the live auction has raised, and I know that it will make a huge difference for children across the UK. But it’s not over yet! My design – the very stylish ‘Futuristic Robot Bear’ – and many others are being auctioned online by Christie’s to help raise even more money for the NSPCC and their ChildLine service. Make sure you bid before the auction closes on 7 January for your chance to own a piece of The Paddington Trail and support a very worthy cause.”
The Paddington Trail online auction runs until 7 January 2015 and features designs by celebrities including Kate Moss, Ben Whishaw, Ant & Dec, Frankie Bridge and Take That, as well as the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson. To bid on the bears, visit www.christies.com/paddington.
The Paddington Trail has been brought to the capital by STUDIOCANAL, VisitLondon.com and the NSPCC to mark the release of Paddington, currently number one in UK cinemas. The Paddington Trail features statues designed by a host of artists and celebrities and will run until 30 December 2014.
To find out more about The Paddington Trail, visit www.visitlondon.com/paddington or follow #PaddingtonTrail
Notes to Editors
Auction pictures available at http://bit.ly/1nJzGti
A full list of the bears sold at the auction is as follows:
1. ‘The Journey of Marmalade’ – Hugh Bonneville. £26,000
2. ‘Blush’ – Nicole Kidman. £22,000
3. ‘The Spirit of Paddington’ – Rolls-Royce Motor Cars. £17,000
4. ‘Patchwork Paddington’ – Rhianna (ChildLine young campaigner). £11,000
5. ‘R; G; B’ – Zaha Hadid. £15,000
6. ‘Paddington’ – Michael Bond. £26,000
7. ‘Flutterby’ – Emma Watson. £11,000
8. ‘Gravity Bear’ – Sandra Bullock. £48,000
9. ‘Paddington Lloyd Webbear’ – Lord Andrew Lloyd Webber. £6,000
10. ‘Shakesbear’ – Michael Sheen. £9,000
11. ‘Sherlock Bear’ – Benedict Cumberbatch. £17,000
12. ‘Golden Paws’ – David Beckham. £16,000
13. ‘Good Morning, London’ – Michael Howells. £8,000
14. ‘W2 1RH’ – Marc Quinn. £58,000 from two bidders.
15. ‘Toggle’ – Benjamin Shine. £5,000
In addition to this, several artists have donated pieces for the auction including:
1. ‘I’m a Rare Bear’ – Paddington-inspired neon by Tracey Emin. £62,000
2. ‘CREMASTER 3: Plumb Line’ – Matthew Barney. £26,000
3. ‘Study for Negro Sunshine (2011.7)’ – Glenn Ligon. £24,000
4. ‘Mrs. S. Keita-Turquoise’ – Hurvin Anderson. £6,500
The final total also includes additional donations made by guests on the night.
About the Paddington Trail
VisitLondon.com has a special dedicated section enabling visitors to London to download the trail map, share their pictures and discover the stories behind each statue and location. VisitLondon.com/Paddington.
The lead charity partner is the NSPCC. The trail also benefits children’s charity Action Medical Research for whom Paddington Bear has been the official mascot for over 35 years. Action Medical Research for Children.
***Paddington and Company own and control the worldwide rights to Paddington Bear www.paddington.com
For further details on the Paddington movie, visit www.paddington.com.
About London & Partners (VisitLondon.com)
London & Partners is the official promotional company for London. We promote London and attract businesses, events, congresses, students and visitors to the capital. Our aims are to build London’s international reputation and to attract investment and visitor spend, which create jobs and growth.
London & Partners is a not-for-profit public private partnership, funded by the Mayor of London and our network of commercial partners.
For more information visit www.londonandpartners.com
The NSPCC is the only UK wide charity solely focused on preventing cruelty to children. The charity works directly with vulnerable children in 40 locations across the UK providing therapy, support and advice to them and their families. The NSPCC helpline provides a 24 hour phone number for adults to report child abuse or seek advice. The charity also runs ChildLine which takes hundreds of thousands contacts a year from children and young people and visits primary schools throughout the country. The NSPCC also successfully campaigns for laws and policies to protect children and bring abusers to justice.
For more information visit www.nspcc.org.uk
Rebekah Clement, Media & PR Manager – Leisure Tourism
Tel: +44 (0)20 7234 5861 / +44 (0) 7826 907 415