The Paul McCartney Project

Creation of McCartney Productions Ltd. announced

Tuesday, April 7, 1970 • Posted in “A day in the life

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On this day, the creation of McCartney Productions Ltd. was announced by Eastman & Eastman, the law firm representing Paul McCartney and managed by Lee Eastman, father of Linda McCartney. McCartney Productions Ltd. (to be renamed a few years later as MPL Communications) would represent the business interests of Paul McCartney for the many years to come.

Beatle Paul McCartney announced today a series of independent projects which close friends said would almost certainly mean the end of the Beatles as a group.

The announcement, issued through McCartney’s attorney and brother-in-law John Eastman of New York, said the private ventures will keep McCartney from directly working with the remainder of the Beatle quartet indefinitely.

The announcement said the first solo venture for McCartney would be an album, “McCartney” to be released this month […] McCartney also announced he has acquired all rights to a well-known British cartoon bear, “Rupert”.

The pop singer plans to make a full-length animated film of “Rupert”, a project which will take several months, the announcement said.

From the Washington Post, London, April 7
From McCartney Legacy – Facebook page

The article from the Washington Post (and similar articles published at the same date) suggests this announcement may mean the end of the Beatles, but the news would make the headlines only a few days later.

The article also makes reference to the upcoming first solo album “McCartney”, but also the acquisition of the film rights for cartoon character Rupert The Bear. From MSN.com:

Paul McCartney enjoyed Rupert’s stories as a kid, and particularly loved the illustrations of Alfred Bestall, who spent more than 40 years crafting tales and pictures for the bear. But it wasn’t until he was telling those stories to his daughter Heather that McCartney saw the character’s full potential.

With The Beatles coming to an end, McCartney was looking for new endeavours, so approached Daily Express editor Sir Max Aitken, and convinced him to sell the film rights. With Macca bemoaning the Americanisation of Winnie the Pooh by Walt Disney, he promised to keep U.S. accents out of this very British story.

I’ve bought up the film rights for Rupert the Bear the cartoon character from the Daily Express. As a kid I loved that strip – I’ve still got all the old Rupert annuals at home.

Paul McCartney

I ended up going to see Sir Max Aitken who was the head of the Daily Express at the time, in his big office in Fleet Street, and said, ‘Look, Max, baby, we’ve got to keep Rupert in England because if the Yanks get hold of him they’ll make him talk like Winnie the Pooh and he’ll be an American Rupert.’ So I said, ‘You’ve got to let someone like me do it.’ I gave him all the big spiel and he was impressed. So that was how we got the animation rights to do Rupert.

Paul McCartney, circa 1990

From Wikipedia:

Rupert Bear is a children’s comic strip character created by English artist Mary Tourtel and first appearing in the Daily Express newspaper on 8 November 1920. Rupert’s initial purpose was to win sales from the rival Daily Mail and Daily Mirror. In 1935, the stories were taken over by Alfred Bestall, who was previously an illustrator for Punch and other glossy magazines. Bestall proved to be successful in the field of children’s literature and worked on Rupert stories and artwork into his 90s. More recently, various other artists and writers have continued the series. About 50 million copies have been sold worldwide.

The comic strip was, and still is, published daily in the Daily Express, with many of these stories later being printed in books, and every year since 1936 a Rupert annual has also been released. Rupert Bear has become a well-known character in children’s culture in the United Kingdom, and the success of the Rupert stories has led to the creation of several television series based on the character. The character also has a large fan following, with such groups as The Followers of Rupert.

From McCartney Legacy – Facebook page

Last updated on June 7, 2020

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