Festive Road resident will be popping up in costume around the town centre
Mr Benn dressed as a pirate and outside M&S in Putney
A series of activities including a walking tour is taking place in Putney to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Mr Benn’s first appearance on TV
The iconic character created by award-winning writer and illustrator David McKee lived on ‘Festive Road’ in Putney, and it is here in Putney town centre that all his adventures took place, at the local fancy dress shop. There he would don a new outfit and journey to many different places.
This summer, thanks to Positively Putney, he is here to celebrate in his hometown and find adventures in our shops and businesses. Positively Putney have partnered with David’s beloved Mr Benn to encourage people to explore Putney town centre and the range of businesses after a very challenging year. Mr Benn in all his different disguises will be popping up across Putney town centre.
Mr Benn began life as a children's picture book in 1967 which followed an ordinary man who had extraordinary adventures when he visited a magical costume shop. The book went on to be transformed into an animated television series transmitted by the BBC in 1971. The TV series became incredibly popular and was repeated regularly on the BBC for almost 30 years until Nickelodeon UK aired the series for a further 9 years until 2010. It is now available to watch on Amazon Prime and Britbox, where it is the top rated animated programme.
Asked about what makes Mr Benn so loved after all these years, David McKee, who lived on Festing Road, commented, “The Mr Benn cartoons have allowed people to escape to another life over the past half-century. Mr Benn endures, I think, because people like the idea of being able to escape to another life, and at their heart they are old-fashioned stories which last. The elements that make up the films – the voice, the music, the story – all simple elements that endure, good old-fashioned stories, with a good rhythm.”
Mr Benn returns to Putney
Be sure to visit Putney town centre this summer for the Mr Benn family walking tour appearing from 25 June, featuring 16 life-size Mr Benn’s around Putney in different costumes and follow the story of Mr Benn and Putney on shop windows. Plus some summer activities for all the family will be installed on Putney Wharf, Upper Richmond Road and Leaders Garden.
To celebrate Mr Benn’s 50th anniversary four original Mr Benn books have been re-published by Andersen Press, and a series of 50th Anniversary products including the brand new 50p coins from The Westminster Collection have been released.
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June 29, 2021