In one of the strangest coincidences of all time, I had actually spent this very afternoon making weak jokes to a friend about how the new version of Paddington Bear was edgier, darker and, yes, sexier than previous versions. Turns out I was right.
I've been nominated for that social media challenge of picking ten books which affected me or shaped me in some way- and there's a challenge to savour. A week's thinking and a bit of writing later, here it is. Plots thankfully recovered.
My argument is that Paddington asks us to take a closer look at the politics shaping perceptions of migration in the UK. The stories shine a light on the paradox of how foreigners are regarded as both a positive and negative force in this country.
When Bond created Paddington in 1958 he was an innocent mirror on Britain of the time. The Paddington of 2012 would be an altogether different affair. Would he make it past Heathrow customs without a issuing a hard stare or two? How would he cope with three-fruit marmalade?