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Popular Rupert Bearcelebrates 90th birthday with charity sale

Rupert Bear. Photo: Muscular Dystrophy/PA Wire

Rupert Bear. Photo: Muscular Dystrophy/PA Wire

His adventures with Bill Badger have turned him into a British national treasure, instantly recognisable by his red jumper and checked yellow trousers.

And this week , Rupert Bear celebrates his 90th birthday with a charity auction to raise money for the Muscular Dystrophy campaign.

A one-off 52-centimetre collectable Steiff bear will go under the hammer with exclusive artwork from current illustrator Stuart Trotter to commemorate Britain’s oldest bear.

Created in 1920 for the Daily Express, Rupert is six years older than Winnie the Pooh and has 40 years on Paddington Bear.

The artist behind the white bear, Mary Tourtel, first developed the cartoon to compete with characters in rival newspapers including a mouse called Teddy Tail in the Daily Mail and a dog, penguin and baby rabbit called Pip, Squeak and Wilfred in the Daily Mirror.

Rupert’s adventures are still featured in the Express and the 75th annual has recently been published. Rare copies of previous annuals have fetched as much as £20,000.

Fans celebrated Rupert’s milestone last weekend at the Rupert Bear Museum in Canterbury with book signings with Mr Trotter and artwork viewings.

Bidding on the special replica Steiff Rupert Bear – the largest made – is open until Sunday.

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