Google's famous simple search engine screen today featured the winsome form of Paddington Bear - making up the "l" in Google, as it were. It turns out the spectacled bear from Darkest Peru first appeared in print exactly 50 years ago today.
I share my birthday with Paddington Bear!
This was lovely news, as I've always been a bit disappointed with the selection of famous people who share my birthday. Ian Thorpe - I don't have particularly big feet and I'm quite confident in my sexuality. Margaret Thatcher - I've got big hair but I also have something else the Iron Lady didn't... um, what was it again... oh yes! Compassion.
But Paddington Bear is sweet, and certainly has an appetite similar to mine (although I'm not really a fan of marmalade sandwiches).
Anyway, I thought I'd do a search for people born on my birthday, and it turns out there are in fact some cool names that pop up. For starters, Lady Jane Grey, Queen of England for nine days way back in 1553. Sure, she was an unfortunate puppet in a struggle over succession, but at least she was smart. Then there's Lillie Langtry, the Victorian vaudevillian actor and renowned beauty who had an affair with the future Edward VIII.
Born on the same day in 1925 as the aforementioned Maggie Thatcher, but destined for a very, very different life, is the American comedian Lenny Bruce.
But that's probably about as cool as it gets. Marie Osmond. Ari Fleischer. Rob Schneider. Kelly Preston. To be frank, it's all a bit second-rate.
So hats off to Paddington Bear, the coolest character to ever share a birthday with. I'd have a Knickerbocker Glory, but after the soy lime chicken breast with coconut risotto at the Continental Cafe, and the delicious strawberry & cream sponge cake that my friend Jazzman brought over for dessert, I'm a bit full.