back to article Pudsey Bear refused UK passport

A woman who changed her name to Pudsey Bear in order to raise cash for the Beeb's Children in Need has been refused a passport on the grounds of her "frivolous" new moniker. Receptionist Eileen De Bont, 37, raised £4,000 for needy kiddies with her Deed Poll act of charity, and is now known as "Mrs P Bear" to her bank, "Ms …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Whata total tard

    She should not have been allowed to change here name in the first place.

  2. Paul Rogers


    I thought I'd heard it all. This woman needs help

  3. Luis Ogando
    Thumb Down

    Private Life??

    "It is unnecessary interference from a public authority in Mrs Bear's private life that is in breach of her human rights."

    So that's the private life that raised over 4 grand and gets her splattered across various news sites..... hmm.

    Still, I think the IPS should still give her a passport. The name's no more frivolous than Eileen De Bont, which is an anagram of Binned Eel Toe after all!!

  4. Toastan Buttar
    Paris Hilton

    Right hand - meet left hand.

    Surely the Deed Poll Service should consult the IPS before allowing someone to change their name. Or better yet, how about the IPS take charge of processing deed poll applications in future ?

    In this particular case, the IPS should just climb down and give her a passport. Where's the harm ? It's not like she's going to rob a bank or anything after this publicity.

    London Tipton icon.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Identity & Passport Service

    WTF is the identity bit all about? You don't have an identity unless they think your name is suitable? It's not their job to tell you what you are called. I doubt Bear is an uncommon surname and there must surely be quite a number of Edward Bears about.

    What would they do for naturalized citizens with names they don't like but in their country of origin are quite acceptable. Would they change them as I believe the Americans did for a number of Polish immigrants?

    Not sure if Anurag Dikshit, co-founder of a Gibraltar based betting site, is entitled to a British passport but God help him if he is or ever wishes to try for one.

  6. Evil Auditor Silver badge

    IPS's really safeguarding her identity?

    However utterly ridiculous it may be to change one's name to Pudsey Bear, it is now her idendity. The IPS's argument 'safeguarding your identity' is very much another example of someone misinterpreting and strictly following a rule. In other words: some stupid was given too much power.


  7. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Sounds like the Passport Service is talking out its arse

  8. John Robson Silver badge

    Go away IPS

    You can't claim to protect her identity by refusing to acknowledge it...

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Safe guarding identity?

    Identity is innate, no they have it wrong they are safe guarding their ability to identify, there is a difference identity is something you have that cannot be removed.

    Identifying erroneously is a problem for those who wish to identify, not the identity who has the identity. Liability is with the identifiers.

    Where do we get these people, someone should check their identity they sound foreign.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Protecting identity?

    Since when has that been the role of a passport?

    Its role is to authenticate you as known to be British and to allow you to acquire travel documents required for other countries.

    Its a service to the public which should not be concerned with its own reputation except in as far as it is failing to fulfill its role.

    Identity protection, except in dealing with a fraudulent passport applications/changes, should not be its remit.

    AC: because you don't need to know who I am.

  11. Ian


    so to award a passport would bring the IPS into disrepute? yes, I suppose doing what you are paid to do and giving a passport to someone who has quite legally changed their name would be outrageous for a branch of the civil service. And as for there pathetic attempt to say that they are doing this for Mrs. Bear's own good ("you may have problems getting into some countries"), yes, having no passport will make it MUCH easier to get into places. Pudsey Bear is only known in the UK anyway - what is the chance of, say a US official a) having heard of Pudsey, and b) having the nerve to raise it? There is a US citizen whose given name is Lemonjello. I bet Fifi Trixibelle has no trouble at borders. Typical government twaddle.

    BTW, what is the IT angle?

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    That must be un-bear-able

    /gets coat

  13. michael


    it may be frivolous but if the bank local council and others have accepted it WTF are they doing refusing it

    it is no worse than some of the names pepol give there kids maby I should conceive a kid on children in need nite and christen them pudsey (only if they are a girl of cores pudsey is a silly name for a boy)

  14. Ian R

    "Deed poll service"

    There is no deed poll service. In the UK you don't need anyone's permission to change your name, you simply start using the new name. No registration, no pieces of paper required. However you might have trouble convincing officials of the change if you don't have it in writing, so you make a deed poll, which is simply a declaration saying that you have given up your old name for a new one, signed in the presence of a witness (any witness, doesn't have to be a solicitor or anything like that).

  15. Ian Hunter

    What about...

    Bear Grylls? He is allowed a passport.

    When will this bear discrimination end?

    It's political correctness gone mad!

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: plonkers

    "BTW, what is the IT angle?"

    It involves a fucked-up government IT project - need any more be said?

  17. david

    This is just what happens...

    ...when a do-gooder meets a jobsworth.

    I'm not sure who's side I'm on but it would seem that if you have a Deed Poll with a new name on it the IPS can't do much about it. It probably caught the G7 on a bad day and he went a bit beyond his brief.

    Look out for the passport being issued and the whole thing going quietly away.

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Who do they think they are?

    On what basis do they refuse? The definition of what name is valid is not theirs to choose, it is the choice of the Deed Poll Service:

    Seems to me this is on ongoing problem with petty officialdom. Everyone from a plastic policeman to an usherette thinks they can restrict anyones freedoms, however they like, whenever they like. As soon as they do that, some nanny changes the law to make it so.

    So everyone is dis-empowered, and frightened to do anything.

    Look at the photos thing. A plastic policeman decided to stop someone photographing Regents street, then Jacqui Smith changed the law to first let them restrict photography, then even went on to try to make it a crime to photograph policemen. Petty trumped up official removes freedom and government backs them.

  19. Anonymous Coward

    What if it had been her real name?

    One can be named anything one's parents wish in England, so what would the passport agency have done if this was the name on her birth certificate? Would they have told her to change her name so that they could 'protect her identity'?

  20. Bob

    Welcome to New Labour

    "Protecting identity? Since when has that been the role of a passport?"

    Since the government decided people needing passports would be a great way to force the national identity register onto the public. The only way out of this mess now is unfortunately to vote Conservative, assuming they'd keep their election promises...

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The Identity & Passport Service

    The "The Identity & Passport Service". When did it change its name?? What was wrong with "The Passport Service?". We don't have ID cards yet and unless can balance its books soon then we won't have them in future. The name change looks presumtious and frivolous.

  22. Fluffykins Silver badge

    I for one

    Welcome our new overlords, whatever their name

  23. Mike Shepherd

    Time was...

    If you left school with few or no qualifications and so ended up in the civil service, it must be tempting to spice up the tedium with imaginary satanic child abuse or decisions on what's frivolous.

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    'bring the IPS into disrepute'

    No, electronic borders, passport and ID card system will bring the IPS into disrepute.

  25. Anonymous Coward

    Deed Poll

    Damn, didn't I need to change my name to AC officially?

  26. Anonymous Coward

    whatever next

    As you have to fork out a sizeable wedge of money for your new passport, surely the IPS would welcome frequent name changes as this means a more frequent re-issue of passports. Then again maybe her application was refused based on the passport photo she submitted (are eyepatches and bandages allowed in passport photo's?)

  27. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    Time to change from Cuddly to Grisly

    Perhaps Ms Bear should follow the lead of Michael Howard who changed his name to Yorkshire Bank PLC Are Fascist Bastards after they charged him £20 for a unsanctioned £10 overdraft.

    Other Gems from

    James Dr No From Russia with Love Goldfinger Thunderball You Only Live Twice On Her Majesty's Secret Service Diamonds Are Forever Live and Let Die The Man with the Golden Gun The Spy Who Loved Me Moonraker For Your Eyes Only Octopussy A View to a Kill The Living Daylights Licence to Kill Golden Eye Tomorrow Never Dies The World Is Not Enough Die Another Day Casino Royale Bond, born David Fearn.


    elpharazinnaphinneloppiarhoshandiatellyneshiaunneveshenk Koyaanisquatsiuth-Darshekkiakaroqodish Williams,


    Tarquin Fin-tim-lin-bin-whin-bim-lim-bus-stop-F'tang-F'tang-Olé-Biscuitbarrel, born John Desmond Lewis

    and my own personal favourite

    Adolph Blaine Charles David Earl Frederick Gerald Hubert Irvin John Kenneth Lloyd Martin Nero Oliver Paul Quincy Randolph Sherman Thomas Uncas Victor William Xerxes Yancy Zeus Wolfe­schlegelstein­hausenberger­dorffvoraltern­waren­gewissenhaft­schaferswessen­schafewaren­wohlgepflege­und­sorgfaltigkeit­beschutzen­von­angreifen­durch­ihrraubgierigfeinde­welche­voraltern­zwolftausend­jahres­vorandieerscheinen­wander­ersteer­dem­enschderraumschiff­gebrauchlicht­als­sein­ursprung­von­kraftgestart­sein­lange­fahrt­hinzwischen­sternartigraum­auf­der­suchenach­diestern­welche­gehabt­bewohnbar­planeten­kreise­drehen­sich­und­wohin­der­neurasse­von­verstandigmen­schlichkeit­konnte­fortplanzen­und­sicher­freuen­anlebens­langlich­freude­und­ruhe­mit­nicht­ein­furcht­vor­angreifen­von­anderer­intelligent­geschopfs­von­hinzwischen­sternartigraum, Senior.

    Born Bergedorf, Germany (near Hamburg), and later emigrated to the United States, settling in Philadelphia. His birthdate has been given as February 29, 1904 and has never appeared in any Monty Python sketches

    Paris, who is also known as Ms Bare

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @Chris W

    > Would they change them as I believe the Americans did for a number of Polish immigrants?

    Are you referring to the alleged renaming that is said to have occurred at Ellis Island? If true, it happened to more than just Poles.

    If you've drunk the Kool-Aid® then you'll know that that didn't happen. Workers at Ellis Island accepted the names given them. Copied from papers, verbally, etc. I have a friend whose Greek g-father experimented with different English spellings of his surname trying to decide which one was best. His family still has the scrap of paper with the various spellings he tried.

    My wife and several cousins are descended from Polish immigrants who came through Ellis Island and elsewhere -- they all made it though with their surnames intact.

    Then there's my own surname, which was originally German, but anglicized (or is that anglicised) in the 18th century. You ought to see some of the wacky phonetic spellings used over the years. All long before Ellis Island.

  29. Skizz

    When will people learn...

    Identity does not equal identification. Mrs Bear's identity did not change, she is who she is and her name doesn't change that. Her identification did, we now call her Mrs Bear.

    That what really grates me. My identity is more than just my name and my fingerprint. It's who I know, what I think, what I do and so on.


  30. Ian R

    @AC 11:28

    Note the URL: This UK Deed Poll Service isn't a government department, it's a commercial operation that tries to get people to pay them money to print some fancy legal wording onto a good quality piece of paper, something you can quite simply and legally do yourself at home:

  31. HFoster

    Oh God...

    What a load of old <snip>

  32. Bassey
    Thumb Up

    Good for them

    About time some of these self-satisfied, publicity speaking plonkers got their comeuppance. Though, personally, I would have waited until she was OUT of the country before cancelling her passport. By trapping her in here we have to listen to her whine.


    Randy L Arsebandit

  33. Simon B

    discimination - sue the discriminate bastards

    That's discrimination. There are many humerous names, many by accident; i.e. Mr Charlie Brown, Mr Ty Neville Weener (TINY WEENER) etc. Sue them for discrimination. The name is legally accepted.

  34. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    All they will achieve is giving one person two totally legal identities that could be used for any purpose...Sounds like a good Idea to me...

    I am now called archibald cumquat esq...

    Now...which way to the benefit office...

  35. Mike

    Re: What about...

    >>When will this bear discrimination end?

    Yea, but lets face it she raised £4k by being stupid (fair enough) and Grylls is a cock, it's more observation than discrimination.

  36. George Speller
    Black Helicopters

    The passport service themselves link to:

    . . . which says it all. Including a clause which says that you MUST stop using your previous name.

    F*ckwits all of them.

  37. Peyton

    For the record

    "It could also pose problems for you at border control in some countries."

    I have no idea who/what Pudsey Bear is. If it's mostly a UKean thing (where I presume she doesn't need a passport so much), I'm thinking this may not be a huge issue.

  38. Anonymous Coward

    Silly ruling

    And silly people who think that your name is so sacred you mustn't change it to something you prefer.

    Pudsey is the name of a 12th century Bishop and hardly a shameful thing to be named after, there are lots of people with the surname Bear, some of them Edwards. I don't see how DeBont is a better name.

  39. Martin Silver badge

    Simple solution

    Why not have replace everyones name with a number?

    Then they could have a little card declaring that the were citizen12345678 - you could even tattoo it on their wrist (call it biometric)

  40. Colonel Panic

    Judicially Review them

    Officials can be compelled by the courts to do their duty:

    1. It would appear that Ms Bear has legally changed her name.

    2. The law (and the UK passport's services own guidance) entitle her to obtain a passport in that name.

    3. The UKPS's purported discretion to refuse her one appears to have no basis in law or be founded on any lawful policy.

    It is nothing to do with "human rights" - its to do with acting lawfully - which the UKPS appear to regard as optional.

    Perhaps a quick judicial review would serve to remind them it is not.

    (and yes, IAAL)

  41. Anonymous Coward

    I'm going to get my name changed to

    ';drop table concat(DBNAME(), '.*')

    That should nicely screw things up

  42. Chris Miller

    Why does no-one remember the name of

    Johann Gambolputty de von Ausfern-schplenden-schlitter-crasscrenbon-fried-digger-dingle- dangle-dongle-dungle-burnstein-von-knackertrasher-applebanger- horowitz-ticolensic-grander-knotty-speltinkle-gradlich- grumblemeyer-spelterwasser-kurstlich-himbleeisenbahnwagen- gutenabend-bitte-ein-nurnberger-bratwurstle-gernspurten-mit -zweinmache-luberhundsfut-gumberaber-schonedanker- kalbsfleisch-mitteraucher von Hautkopf of Ulm

  43. Joe

    Ian R is right

    The UKDPS is a private company trying to look like a government department.

    There is no register of names, or a central name-change department.

    It's a piece of paper you can print yourself, and it's just as legal as getting one from a lawyer or the UKDPS site. (They won't tell you that, of course - that's how they make their money!)

    How do I know this? I did it! And the passport, driving licence, banks, etc - all accepted without a problem.

  44. Jason Bloomberg Silver badge
    Paris Hilton

    Ginger Minge

    Five down, five across ...

    How would our lads at the IPS have handled that ( fnarr, fnarr ) ?

    "Wanker" is a fairly common surname in the US ( Peggy, Married With Children ). Not hard to find a genuine "Dick Head" either.

    Paris Hilton : What sort of name is "Paris Hilton" ?

  45. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The tale of little Bobby Tables

  46. Anton Ivanov

    They are mistaking her for the wrong bear

    Case of mistaken identity. Someone probably thought of P. Bear being Paddington Bear - hence an illegal immigrant.

  47. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Perhaps I will change my name

    Now i can't decide on what it will be....

    Delete This, Test Record or Invalid Entry?

  48. Anonymous Coward

    @AnonCoward: SQL Name

    Little Bobby Tables? Is that you?

    (the one with 'Sanitising data inputs for dummies' in the pocket, ta)

  49. AndrewG

    ID Card

    So someones found a bulletproof way of making sure they're never issued an ID card.

    I'd expect a round of applause for her just for that.

  50. Andy Bright

    It doesn't matter what anyone thinks of the name

    If the name change was allowed then it is valid. It may be an idiotic name and she may well be an idiot for doing it, but those things are completely irrelevant.

    Her name is legal and the IPS does not have the right to refuse a British Citizen a passport simply because they don't like an individual's name.

    There are plenty of people that have ridiculous names simply because previous generations were too stupid to change them to something sensible. Should the IPS be allowed to refuse these people passports too?

    Changing your name by deed poll is allowed by law and has been for as long as I can remember. It is up to the bureaucrats in charge of that institution to decide what is a legitimate name change and what is not. As long as they are satisfied, no one else has the right to interfere.

    I personally think she's a bit daft but no more so than many other people in this country. For example forgetting what happened the last time we had a Tory government and altering history so that people forget the economic crisis of the 80s and early 90s.

    Whatever you may think of New Labour, if you think that a return to double digit unemployment, double digit mortgage rates and sky high inflation is the answer to fix it, you are as nuts as Thatcher was. They'll probably increase VAT by another 12 1/2 percent as they did in the 80s and tell us again that it's good value for the couple of percentage points they knock off income tax.

  51. Dr Patrick J R Harkin
    Jobs Halo

    They are not protecting HER identity...

    they are protecting the identity of the real Pudsey Bear. This woman obviously seeks to entrap fans of the genuine Pudsey in some form of honey trap. She even admits she has managed to get £4000 that way already!

    Jobs icon cos I've never used it before and can't be bother to come up with some dubious claim that "iJobs reckons the name is more important than the thing" argument.

  52. Mr Larrington


    ...I have an urge to change my name to "Mohammed Bear".

    OK, it's gone now.

  53. Simon Mort-Adams

    What about the kids?

    "In case you're wondering, Bear's two daughters, 10 and 13, don't seem to mind mum's change of identity."

    What sort of names are those, 10 Bear and 13 Bear...!?

    She's CLEARLY lost the plot, totally!


  54. Anonymous Coward

    Can hardly bear to say this, but . . .

    . . am I the only one here thinking "publicity hype"? Surely it's just a ruse to get a higher profile for Ms P Bear's charity, whatever that is . . .

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