Teddy rejected for role in Brideshead remake


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Aloysius, the teddy bear made famous by his appearance in the 1981 series Brideshead Revisited, is now living in a Witney museum.The 25in bear, who will be 100 this year, is one of the star exhibits at the Teddy Bears of Witney shop and museum. He shot to fame following his appearance with Anthony Andrews, who played Sebastian Flyte in the lavish Granada TV production.Now, a new film is being made, with scenes shot in Oxford and Venice. It is expected to be in cinemas next year.But a row has broken out over whether or not Aloysius, or a similar bear, should appear in the new film.

Andrew Davies, one of the scriptwriters for the new film starring Ben Whishaw, has angered fans of Evelyn Waugh's novel by saying there would be no bear in the movie.

Ian Pout, who owns Teddy Bears of Witney, and bought Aloysius in 1996 for $85,000 - about £50,000 - said the teddy bear was an integral part of Sebastian's character, symbolising his refusal to grow up.He said: "Aloysius got a little bit damaged on a promotional tour of America for the 1981 series and now wears a scarf given by Anthony Andrews's wife to cover some patches. "I think he's too fragile to appear in another film. The film-makers have not approached me to ask for him, but I would suggest they use a different bear instead."Sir John Mortimer, screenwriter of the original series, called for Aloysius to be given a part in the new film.He said: "Of course Aloysius is incredibly important, he's a sign of character. He was Sebastian's hallmark."

Mr Pout is hoping that the debate over Aloysius's inclusion would bring more visitors to the museum in High Street, which opened in 1985.He added: "There are some people who don't realise he is here, so we would welcome more visitors, but people come here from all over the world." Mr Pout was flying out to Japan this week for a trade conference. For further information about the museum, visit the website www.teddybears.co.uk

《Oxford Mail》 【Andrew Ffrench】