Video Loading

Fleet went Ant and Dec crazy when the celebrity duo made a surprise visit to the town to officially unveil its new Paddington Bear statue on Wednesday afternoon.

A large crowd could not believe their eyes when the Geordie television presenters made a surprise entrance onto The Harlington stage to reveal Bear Humbug – one of 50 specially-designed statues dotted around London to celebrate the Paddington movie launch.

Both young and old clubbed together to secure the statue in an online auction in January.

The pair entered the stage to raucous screams of excited children and parents.

Before they unveiled their designed bear, the Britain's Got Talent presenters addressed the crowd.

Dec said: "We have to say a huge thank you, we couldn't have wished for a better place for him to go.

"So thank you so much for all coming together to raise the money.

"We have been a bit busy on the TV lately but after receiving all of these letters we had to come today and unveil him for ourselves. We couldn't let anyone else do it."

Speaking about the design of the bear, Ant said: "We wanted it to be black and white to show our love for Newcastle United but Alan Shearer got there first.

"So we went for the humbug theme which we think looks great."

The £6,500 raised has been donated to the NSPCC which will go directly to Childline.

The children's charity raised a staggering £930,000 in total from the Paddington trail scheme, which saw the specially designed statues go on sale.

Fleet trader Kevin Whibley, one of the ‘Humbug Guardians’, said pupils from Elvetham Heath Primary, Tavistock Infant and Tweseldown Infant schools all wrote to Ant and Dec to ask them to come and meet their bear.

“It is also safe to say that the lads may have felt a little bit hassled on Twitter, but no one really thought they would actually turn up,” he added.

“We were hoping they would produce a video message for us, but their agent said they wanted to come and meet the Fleet community so at the very last minute, and in the strictest secrecy, plans were changed and an event for 550 people was put together.

“We could not let anyone know or the place would have been swamped.

“But this made the surprise of them coming out on stage all the better.”

Fleet actor Henry Douthwaite, who started the Facebook campaign to raise money for a statue, said to the crowd: "We have a fantastic community that has come together to see Bear Humbug come to Fleet.

"We started the campaign to raise £4,000 in just eight days and it was down to schools and sponsors that we made it well over our target.

"Thanks to children telling their parents, the message spread.

"I originally bidded on about five bears but I'm so pleased we got Bear Humbug as he is my favourite.

"The bear, which stems from a literary character will be put on display at the library.

"The most important thing is that we raised £6500 for the NSPCC.

"This is our lovely reward, well done to everyone who got involved, it's sensational."

'Icing on the cake'

Andrea Wright who came along with her two children, said: "We were really pleased to have been chosen to come after contributing to the purchase of the bear but particularly that Ant and Dec have made the effort to come and show the community that we've done so well.

"I think all the children are aware of Ant and Dec on the telly and it just really has put the icing on the cake.

"It's an event to go down in history."