Paddington, who will be flying in from darkest Peru for a new TV series.

The marmalade-scoffing mammal and big-screen star will appear in a new pre-school animated series

From darkest Peru to the small screen, Paddington will star in a new animated TV series, with Ben Whishaw returning as the marmalade-loving bear.

Whishaw, who voiced the character in the popular recent films, will now bring the adventures of a younger Paddington to a pre-school audience in a series that will air on Nickelodeon in 2020.

The animation’s aim is to introduce the next generation to the beloved bear created by Michael Bond 60 years ago. Every episode will open and close with Paddington writing to his long-lost Aunt Lucy from Windsor Gardens, his London residence, to tell her about his adventures that day. 

A first-look image of the new series shows a fully animated Paddington flying over London, clasping an umbrella and wearing his trademark blue duffel coat and red hat. 

The programme will be executive produced by David Heyman, who also produced both Paddington films as well as all eight Harry Potter films. “It is a joy to bring this uniquely life-enhancing bear to a whole new audience of younger children,” Hayman said.

Both Paddington and its sequel were critical and commercial hits, each taking more than $200m (£156m) at the global box office. Guardian film critic Peter Bradshaw described Paddington 2 as a “tremendously sweet-natured, charming, unassuming and above all funny film with a story that just rattles along, powered by a nonstop succession of Grade-A gags” – a humour, he added, that has the “citrus tang of top-quality thick-cut marmalade.”

Paddington author Bond died at the age of 91 in 2017. His last story, Paddington’s Finest Hour, was published just two months before his death. More than 35m Paddington books have been sold globally, spawning toys and TV shows as well as the Bafta-nominated films.

The films starred Whishaw, Imelda Staunton, Sally Hawkins, Julie Walters, Jim Broadbent and Hugh Bonneville, with Hugh Grant getting rave reviews for his turn as Phoenix Buchanan in the sequel. A third Paddington film is currently in development.