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Rupert Bear

1093 of 1160 nominations


Rupert Bear

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Rupert Bear

Rupert Bear, who first appeared in the Daily Express on 8 November 1920, is the longest running children's comic character in the world. He was invented by the artist, Mary Tourtel, as a rival to Teddy Tail, a popular mouse in the Daily Mail. In 1935, Rupert was taken over by Alfred Bestall, a magazine illustrator who was surprised to learn, after he accepted the job, that he was expected to write the stories as well as illustrate them. Yet he had such a vivid imagination that the Bestall period, lasting until he retired in 1965, is now seen as Rupert's Golden Age. Bestall's work is best displayed in the annuals, filled with rich and colourful illustrations of Rupert's Nutwood home. This is a timeless rural utopia, where badgers, elephants, pigs and anteaters, all walking on two legs and wearing Eton suits, live alongside human poachers, game-keepers, a Chinese conjuror and his children, fairies, mischievous elves, giant birds and a twigman called Raggety.

In 2006, the well-behaved bear was updated, swapping his boots for trainers, for a new cartoon series, Rupert and Friends, on Five.


Your comments

85 years old, still fully functioning and representative of all that is best in rural England. Rupert's world is the lush, peaceful farmland of England, yet he is rocketed into and out of exotic and dangerous landscapes and exciting adventures ... always returning to his cosy Nutwood home. He is also instantly recognisable - red sweater, yellow checked trousers on a small boy with a bear's head!

Alan Murray

I have been a Rupert fan since the 50s. I still love him. I have collected many annuals and a big stuffed Rupert. I remember my mum reading the stories to me. I do not think Rupert ever ages, he is still great for children, but now the children that read Rupert are younger than when I grew up. I have lived in America since the 60s but never forgot Rupert.
Margaret Parson

I really don't have the words to adequately express my feelings for this little bear, his pals and the whole magical world of NutWood. Whilst being both comforting and secure, the 'Rupert' stories nevertheless advocated an active approach to being fair, good and honourable. We were taught to be stout-hearted ,determined, modest and self-reliant; to appreciate the value of friendship and to lend assistance whenever needed. Not bad values eh?
Johnathan Oswin

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I believe rice, peas and jerk chicken is an Icon of England.

Ade Adeluwoye