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ITV Good Morning Britain's Kate Garraway stunned as she discovers link to Paddington Bear on DNA journey with Alison Hammond

Manchester Evening News logo Manchester Evening News 05/10/2022 Jessica Sansome

Kate Garraway was left stunned she discovered she has a link to the iconic character that is Paddington Bear. The Good Morning Britain presenter has teamed up with Alison Hammond for ITV series DNA Journey as they both discover details about their families they never knew.

During the upcoming episode, set to air on ITV on Thursday (October 6), Kate was introduced to Karen Jankel, the daughter of the late creator of Paddington Bear, Michael Bond.

Kate, 55, discovered that the pair have the same three times great-grandparent and shared an emotional embrace after meeting close to the London train station that bears the much-loved character's name. As many will be familiar, the 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.

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Ms Jankel told Kate 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." She told her: "Paddington and I grew up together."

Elaborating further, 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." She said of the marmalade sandwich-loving bear: "He was always part of my family. 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."

Kate has gone on her DNA Journey with Alison Hammond © SCU Kate has gone on her DNA Journey with Alison Hammond

Ms Jankel also showed Kate her first edition copy of A Bear Called Paddington, signed by her father in September 1959. "It was always my absolute favourite growing up,” Kate admitted. "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."

The TV and radio star also joked she used to regularly eat marmalade sandwiches during her time at university. British author Bond published more than 20 books featuring Paddington Bear before his death in June 2017 aged 91. His creation, known for his battered hat, suitcase and duffle coat, remains a classic of children’s writing and featured in a sketch with the late Queen during her Platinum Jubilee celebrations this year.

The episode also saw Kate 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 on ITV at 9pm.

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