Marks and Spencer ‘sorry’ as it admits hundreds of Paddington statues will be destroyed after Christmas

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Paddington Bear will meet a sticky end after Christmas and there’s not a marmalade sandwich that can save him.

Kent Live can reveal around 300 gold Paddingtons in Marks and Spencer stores across Britain will be destroyed after the festive period – despite hopes they could be sold off for charity.

The iconic bear’s destruction came to light after Sevenoaks Town Council asked the town’s store if it could have its gold bear, currently sitting in the window, to auction off for charity after Christmas.

But open mouthed councillors were instead told “copyright, maintenance, and health and safety issues” prevented it being handed over for good causes.

Paddington stands proud in the window display in Sevenoaks

Clerk to the town council, Linda Larter wrote to M&S on Twitter asking “Can We Save Paddington Bear” and auction it off for the Mayor’s Charity.

The charity this year supports Breast Cancer Care and its founder Sevenoaks breast cancer survivor, Steph Harrison, 58, said it was disappointing the gold bears could not be put to good use.

Breast cancer survivor, Steph Harrison says its a shame Paddington can't help her charity

Breast cancer survivor, Steph Harrison says its a shame Paddington can’t help her charity

“It is a shame,” she said.

“And just unfortunate that when these companies put together their marketing deals they do not think about uses afterwards. M&S wanted to help but were unable to do so. Just think – if there are 300 bears that is 300 charities that they could helped. Instead – it is a shame – they are being destroyed.”

An M&S spokesman confirmed copyright meant all bears, currently placed in the windows of all its clothing stores, would be “recycled” and the company did not have the rights to hand them over.

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She added: “We know our gold Paddington statues have been popular with customers and we’re sorry for any disappointment this has caused. Our charity partnership with the NSPCC is an important part of our campaign with over £250,000 already raised through sales of our Paddington storybook.”

Paddington is sold as a Christmas bauble and is at the centre of M&S Christmas campaign

Paddington is sold as a Christmas bauble and is at the centre of M&S Christmas campaign

Paddington currently features in the clothing giant’s Christmas TV ad and is said to be the most talked about advertising campaign on social media.

The bear, currently staring in the hit film Paddington 2, is also the centre of a promotions campaign which sees the store selling Paddington inspired Christmas decorations, outfits and books and games.

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