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Kate Garraway learns she’s related to Paddington Bear creator on DNA Journey

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Kate Garraway has discovered that she is a relative of Paddington Bear creator Michael Bond.

As part of the new series of ITV’s DNA Journey, the Good Morning Britain presenter was introduced to Karen Jankel, the daughter of the late author.

The pair have the same three-times great-grandparent and shared an emotional embrace after meeting at Paddington station.

Bond’s enduring children’s book character famously arrived in London from the deepest, darkest jungles of Peru and first appeared in print in 1958 in the book A Bear Called Paddington.

Jankel told Garraway she wanted to introduce her to her “famous brother” before revealing a stuffed toy of Paddington Bear, complete with a travel tag reading “Darkest Peru”.

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“Paddington and I grew up together,” she explained. “The reason is that my father was Michael Bond, the creator of Paddington, which means that of course you are also related to Michael Bond.”

Jankel said that Paddington was “always part of my family”, adding: “He is so real to our family, and now to your family too, because he is a member of the family.

“He used to sit on the table at meal times and my father used to talk to him and talk through him to us. Of course, I never knew anything else because he was always around.”

Jankel also showed Garraway her first edition copy of A Bear Called Paddington, signed by her father in September 1959.

“It was always my absolute favourite growing up,” Garraway said. “It has been said to me over the years that I do have a touch of Paddington Bear about me and that is because, without meaning to, he does cause an extraordinary amount of chaos.”

Paddington Bear, as seen in the 2014 film ‘Paddington’

(StudioCanal)

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British author Bond published more than 20 books featuring Paddington Bear before his death in June 2017 aged 91.

The Paddington books have sold more than 30 million copies worldwide and been translated into approximately 30 languages.

The episode also saw Garraway visit Bristol alongside fellow TV presenter Alison Hammond to hear about her distant relative Frederick Lambert, her first cousin three generations removed.

Lambert lived and worked as a photographer in the city during the 1840s while still a teenager.

DNA Journey airs on Thursday at 9pm on ITV.

Additional reporting by Press Association.

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Source: Independent

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