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Firth ditches Paddington Bear in 'conscious uncoupling'

Actor Colin Firth has pulled out of voicing the character of Paddington Bear in a Hollywood role because his voice "did not fit", he said.

Colin Firth has pulled out of voicing the iconic character of Paddington Bear as his voice "did not fit". Credit: Reuters

The Oscar-winning star was due to voice the famous Peruvian bear in the film Paddington, due out in five months and featuring Nicole Kidman and Peter Capaldi.

But, in a statement to Empire, he said: "It's been bittersweet to see this delightful creature take shape and come to the sad realisation that he simply doesn't have my voice."

Paddington Bear was created by Michael Bond in 1958. Credit: PA Images

"After a period of denial, we've chosen conscious uncoupling," added the 53-year-old, referencing a term coined by actress Gwyneth Paltrow and husband Chris Martin when they recently announced their separation.

The film's director Paul King said the split was "amicable" and he had not yet selected a replacement for the King's Speech star.


Colin Firth to voice Paddington Bear in new film

Paddington Bear and his creator Michael Bond. Credit: Edmond Terakopian/PA Archive/Press Association Images

Colin Firth will provide the voice for Paddington Bear in a new film based on the adventures of the duffle coat-clad character.

The bear, famous for his love of marmalade sandwiches and named after the London station where he was found, was created by Michael Bond.

He first appeared in 1958 in his first book, A Bear Called Paddington, which told how he was packed off from darkest Peru and made his way to Britain where he was adopted by the Brown family.

The King's Speech star joins a cast that includes Downton Abbey's Hugh Bonneville, who plays Mr Brown, Nicole Kidman, Julie Walters and Jim Broadbent.