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Hugh Bonneville stunned to discover Ukrainian President voices Paddington Bear

Paddington (voiced by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy in the Ukrainian dub).
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky provided the voice of Paddington Bear when the film was released in Ukraine. (Image credit: StudioCanal)

Downton Abbey star Hugh Bonneville was shocked to discover that Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelensky, provided the voice of Paddington Bear for the Ukrainian dub of Paddingon and Paddington 2.

On Sunday, Feb. 27, Hugh Bonneville started a short Twitter thread where he shared his appreciation for the news, writing: "Until today I had no idea who provided the voice of @PaddingtonBear in Ukraine. Speaking for myself, thank you, President Zelensky #PaddingtonBear".

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Hugh also shared a link to a YouTube clip showing President Zelensky voicing the part for Paddington 2, which you can see below. 

As part of the thread, Hugh also tweeted a link to the Unicef website, where the charity explains their link with the beloved bear, writing: "For those across the world who cherish the values of Paddington..."

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Before he was elected President in 2019, Mr. Zelensky studied law at the Kryvyy Rih Economic Institute (the local campus of the Kyiv National Economic University). 

However, he went on to pursue a career as an actor and performer. In 2015, he notably created, produced, and starred in the Ukrainian comedy, Servant of the People

This series saw Mr. Zelenskyy playing Vasyl Petrovych Holoborodko, a high-school teacher who was catapulted to fame and elected President of Ukraine after a video of one of his rants against political corruption went viral online.

Three years later, the political party 'Servant of the People' (named directly after the show) was officially registered in 2018. On New Year's Eve in 2018, Zelensky himself announced he planned to follow in his character Holoborodko's footsteps and run for office. He went on to win the 2019 presidential election with a huge landslide of 73% of the vote.

Aside from Paddington and Servant of the People, Zelensky has starred in several Ukrainian movies and series. Back in 2006, he also participated in and won the very first series of the Ukrainian edition of Dancing With The Stars

Martin Shore
Martin Shore

Martin is a Staff Writer with WhatToWatch.com, where he produces a variety of articles focused on the latest and greatest films and TV shows. 

Some of his favorite shows are What We Do In The Shadows, Bridgerton, Gangs of London, The Witcher, Doctor Who, and Ghosts. When he’s not watching TV or at the movies, Martin’s probably still in front of a screen playing the latest video games, reading, or watching the NFL.