Wokingham’s Max joins Paddington for M&S Christmas


A BUDDING young actor from Wokingham has a secured a major role that will be seen by millions over the coming weeks … he’s appearing alongside Paddington Bear in the Marks & Spencer Christmas advert.

Max Reynolds beat off stiff competition to win the coveted role in the festive film which launched today (Tuesday, November 7).

The advert is set on Christmas Eve at Windsor Gardens and Paddington is fast asleep. However, his dreams of marmalade are interrupted by a loud thud on the roof. Upon investigation, he stumbles upon a burglar and despite the burglar’s protests that he is “not Santa” the determined and good-natured bear begins to ‘help’ him deliver the presents back to where they belong.  

Seeing the good in everyone, Paddington innocently helps the burglar see the error of his ways and as they place presents into personalised stockings and pause for mince pies, he unknowingly averts a crisis and ensures a truly special moment for his neighbour, and a happy Christmas for all.

Max’s character is a little boy who films the bear and the thief returning all the packages to their rightful owners.

And it’s not the first brush with fame that the 12-year-old from Wokingham has achieved. The youngster has been part of Artemis performing arts school for two years and secured roles in Bridget Jones Baby and Downton Abbey.

Autograph hunters will be pleased to learn that he will also be appearing in Beauty and the Beast at South Hill Park this Christmas, before he starts rehearsals for Ghost Station and Sweeney Todd with Artemis in the New Year

Max said of his day filming with Paddington: “In July I was invited to audition for an M&S Christmas advert, I went up to London and auditioned then, in the next couple of weeks, I heard that I got the part!

“I was surrounded by movie magic, cameras and lots of technicians, I went on set and the director explained what I had to do, he and the rest of the crew were very welcoming…

“While I was at the studio I saw some famous faces (I don’t want to give anything away!) I also saw the green screens, which create a background on the set, they were massive, as big as my house!”

Max Renolds in the new M&S Christmas advert featuring Paddington Bear

And Max’s festive moment is to immortalised in a book that goes on sale on Friday in Marks & Spencer stores and online for £3.

All profits will be donated to the NSPCC to help fund its vital Childline service over the Christmas season.

Rob Weston, Brand & Marketing Director at M&S said: “Paddington injects the sense of joy, love and neighbourly spirit that makes Christmas feel magical and our story reflects the inclusive, make the most of every moment approach that we take to our customer conversations.”

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