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Kate Garraway discovers she's actually related to Paddington Bear's creator Michael Bond

Metro logo Metro 05/10/2022 Meghna Amin
Kate has an unexpected connection to the beloved character (Picture: Ken McKay/ITV/REX/Shutterstock) © Provided by Metro Kate has an unexpected connection to the beloved character (Picture: Ken McKay/ITV/REX/Shutterstock)

Kate Garraway was left stunned to discover that she is related to Paddington Bear’s creator Michael Bond.

The 55-year-old Good Morning Britain presenter took part in ITV’s DNA Journey, where she was joined by Alison Hammond as they took a journey through their family histories.

On the way, Kate was introduced to Karen Jankel, the daughter of Paddington’s late author, who died in 2017.

Bond created the beloved bear back in 1958, with the first story A Bear Called Paddington, later followed by more than twenty others.

Kate and Karen share three times great-grandparent, and met up close to the train station that bears the character’s name, exchanging an emotional embrace.

Introducing Kate to her ‘famous brother,’ Karen revealed a stuffed toy of Paddington Bear, complete with a ‘Darkest Peru’ travel tag, as Paddington famously arrives to London from the jungles of Peru.

The beloved bear was famous for his marmalade sandwiches (Picture: PA) © Provided by Metro The beloved bear was famous for his marmalade sandwiches (Picture: PA) Paddington even played a part in the Queen’s jubilee celebrations (Picture: PA) © Provided by Metro Paddington even played a part in the Queen’s jubilee celebrations (Picture: PA)

‘Paddington and I grew up together,’ Karen told Kate.

‘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 continued of the marmalade-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.

Author Michael Bond with his creation Paddington Bear (Picture: PA ) © Provided by Metro Author Michael Bond with his creation Paddington Bear (Picture: PA ) Kate met Bond’s daughter Karen (Picture: ITV) © Provided by Metro Kate met Bond’s daughter Karen (Picture: ITV)

‘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.’

Karen also showed Kate her first edition copy of A Bear Called Paddington, which had been signed by her father in 1959.

Kate added: ‘It was always my absolute favourite growing up.’

‘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,’ she joked.

The GMB host loved Paddington’s stories growing up (Picture: Ken McKay/ITV/Shutterstock) © Provided by Metro The GMB host loved Paddington’s stories growing up (Picture: Ken McKay/ITV/Shutterstock)

Elsewhere in this week’s episode, Alison embarks on a journey that leads her to the soul-shaking discovery that her great great great grandfather was an important figure in campaigning for the rights of people of colour.

After using a mix of DNA and genealogy, Alison heads to Jamaica to meet living family members she never knew existed.

‘For Alison, visiting Jamaica, the homeland of her recently deceased mum, is an incredibly emotional and moving journey,’ the synopsis teases.

Alison Hammond also learns about her family history (Picture: Ken McKay/ITV/REX/Shutterstock) © Provided by Metro Alison Hammond also learns about her family history (Picture: Ken McKay/ITV/REX/Shutterstock)

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‘One that brings her closer to her mum as she finds out the most jaw-dropping of maternal histories.’

It continues: ‘She learns that her great great great grandfather, not only campaigned for the rights of free people of colour; he was instrumental in gaining their freedoms by attracting attention at the highest level – in the House of Commons – at great personal sacrifice.’

DNA Journey airs Thursday at 9pm on ITV.

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