Congratulations to Rupert Bear who celebrates his hundredth birthday this month. Created six years before Winnie the Pooh, nine years before Tintin, twelve years before Biggles, thirty years before Dan Dare and thirty eight years before Paddington Bear, Rupert was created by Mary Tourtel, who wrote and illustrated his adventures for the Daily Express for fifteen years, before ill health forced her to hand over to Alfred Bestall, who illustrated new stories until 1974. Other artists included Alex Cubie and John Harrold and writers included James Henderson and Ian Robinson. Currently new stories are written and illustrated by Stuart Trotter, although sadly, Rupert now only features in one new story each year, which is included in the Annual alongside repeats of past adventures. The daily strips are also repeats, drawn from the vast library of old stories. Over the years there have been three separate TV series featuring Rupert as well as a song called Rupert and the Frog Chorus by Paul McCartney, with its own animated video. The present Chairman of the Followers of Rupert, John Swan, is also a member of the EAGLE Society. A more surprising link concerns a story called Rupert and the Spaceship, produced in 1954 for a series of small paperback books called the Rupert Adventure Series, in which Rupert flies into space in a ship which bears a strong resemblance to the Kingfisher ship from the first Dan Dare story and several other ships from the strip. Rupert meets a group of friendly aliens who resemble elves and they are led by a character called Meeko!