Winnie the Pooh, Paddington, Rupert – the UK sure loves a cuddly bear.
Pudsey Bear, who represents the BBC’s Children in Need charity, is arguably the most iconic of them all.
The cuddly yellow critter has been synonymous with the fundraiser for decades, although he actually wasn’t around from the very start of Children In Need.
Graphic designer Joanna Lane was tasked with creating the new design, and the result was the little bear we know and love today.
Here’s everything you need to know about Children In Need’s beloved mascot.
How old is Pudsey Bear?
Pudsey came into our lives in 1985 – making him 36, and looking good for it.
This was five years after Children In Need began.
The BBC asked designer Joanna Lane to create a new logo to attract more interest in the charity – the result was Pudsey Bear.
‘It was like a lightbulb moment for me,’ Joanna told the BBC. ‘We were bouncing ideas off each other and I latched on to this idea of a teddy bear.
‘I had a whole story playing out in my head for this bear, I went to the production team and said, “we need to name it”. So they turned around and said “if you think it’s important to name him, you do it”.
‘It came from the heart – I looked to my own experience and named him in honour of my home town and my grandparents.’
Joanna was born and raised in Pudsey, a town in West Yorkshire in between Bradford and Leeds.
For the uninitiated, Pudsey is a small town of around 22,000, mostly known for its cricketing sons, with the likes of Len Hutton, Raymond Illingworth, and Matthew Hoggard all born there.
Lane was a proud daughter of Pudsey and her grandfather, Irvine Ball, had been mayor of the town in 1950, so she decided to name the Children In Need bear after her birthplace.
Pudsey the town has honoured Pudsey the bear with a floral representation of him in Pudsey Park.
Sir Terry Wogan introduced Pudsey to the world in 1985 and from 1986 the bear was the official logo of Children In Need.
He was initially brown with a red bandage on his head and his buttons spelling out BBC down his front, but this gradually all changed.
Nowadays, he has his famous yellow fur with a multi-coloured polka-dot bandage and he is entirely buttonless.
Why does Pudsey have an eye patch?
Why Pudsey wears the eye patch/bandage/bandana has never been fully explained.
However, it is widely assumed that the patch is to make Pudsey seem ‘in need’ himself, and relatable to the children the charity is working for.
Who is the female version of Pudsey?
In 2009, Children In Need added a new bear to their collection called Blush.
Still around today, Blush has not quite developed the same following as Pudsey, despite her fetching spotty bow and rosy cheeks.
Fans of both Pudsey and Blush can buy toy versions of the bears over at the Children In Need online shop.
Children in Need will air across BBC One and Two on Friday, November 19 from 7pm.
Credit: Original article published here.