I've just been to our local supermarket in Pudsey. And who did I see? Yes, Pudsey Bear.
Being Children in Need night, this is hardly a surprise. Indeed, I would imagine there is a more than 50% chance that you too encountered Pudsey Bear at some point on your travels today (although maybe not in Pudsey).
The reason for telling you this is, whenever I tell someone from outside the North of England where I live, they very often say, "Pudsey Bear." That's it, just "Pudsey Bear." Almost Dalek-like, there's nothing else coming, they just have to say it. "Pudsey Bear."
It's very much like the many thousands of people I've met over the course of my life who, when I tell them my name, have to say, "Can you sing?" Then they laugh. Then I say, "only when I'm drunk," or "not as well as him," or "f**k off." It generally depends what kind of mood I'm in.
Anyway, back to Pudsey Bear. Occasionally when I meet someone a second time who (1) knows I live in Pudsey and (2) has said "Pudsey Bear" when I first told them, they then ask, "was he named after Pudsey?"
Well, tonight I can reveal - unless you already know in which case my revelation won't be that revealing - he was.
Pudsey Bear was created in 1985 by Joanna Ball and named after her home town of Pudsey where her grandfather was mayor.
A reproduction of Pudsey Bear - made of vegetation - stands in Pudsey Park, near the town centre, and you can see a picture of it below (and I'll bet you didn't know about that bit).
So there we go, that's the build up done. It's now time for Jamie's bath followed by seven hours of Sir Terry. Marvellous (and don't forget to donate).