Marks & Spencer Christmas Advert 2017: Bears and burglars

Paddington M&S ad

Paddington M&S ad - Credit: M&S

Paddington Bear has been unveiled as the furry star of Marks and Spencer's 2017 Christmas advertisement

Marks and Spencer: Paddington and the Christmas Visitor

What happens? Paddington Bear singlehandedly saves Christmas when he unwittingly stops a burglar (played by Mark Benton) in his tracks, mistakes him for Father Christmas and then insists on helping him deliver the presents in his swag bag/sack. In doing so, he also reforms a hardened criminal, brings joy to the world and gives Angela Rippon a top gig as she breaks the news to the nation that a bear has been spotted helping Santa on his rounds on Christmas Eve. There's snow, magic, M&S branding, a girl in a superhero outfit, comedy and a heart-warming Charles Dickens-style message about the true meaning of Christmas, although I still think the burglar would be looking at a five-stretch, even with an early plea.

I wish I could have one of Paddington Bear's marmalade sandwiches: You can. In it's biggest festive tie-in to date, M&S is launching 90 spin-off products alongside its ad which include marmalade, chocolate and cuddly bears and duffle coats. No bolt cutters or crowbars, though.

If the burglar had encountered a real bear, would it have been as magical? Have you seen The Revenant?

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Is it as good as the M&S ad where Helena Bonham-Carter appeared as a giant green wizard and David Gandy's clothes fell off at a gothic tea party? Nothing is, or ever will be, that good.

Best bit: Paddington, obviously. But – so far – this is hands down the best Christmas advertisement to hit the small screens. It's almost enough to make you forget that it's the beginning of November but not quite enough to make you feel any differently towards people that burgle your house. Burgling houses, even if you change your mind halfway through, repent and pretend to be Father Christmas, is still distinctly non-magical.

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