ONE of the world's most celebrated animators has returned to her North-East roots to pass on her knowledge to students at her former university.

Sheila Graber, famous for her work on Paddington Bear, has returned to the University of Sunderland to teach in the classrooms she last sat in as a student in 1959.

Ms Graber is teaching on the university's BA (Hons) Animation course, the first university degree of its type in the UK.

She graduated from Sunderland's fine art course and, after 20 years as a teacher, went on to become one of the world's most acclaimed animators.

She has won several awards from the Royal Television Society, shown her work in the Tate and several other galleries, as well as speaking worldwide on animation.

She made a name for herself working for Filmfair on classic animations such as Paddington Bear, where she animated Paddington's human parents Mr and Mrs Brown.

Now, after 45 years, she has returned to Sunderland, as senior research and teaching fellow in animation.

As well as teaching final year students, Ms Graber will also be writing a book on animation and the creative process over the next three years.

She said: "It is great to be back in Sunderland. It is basically the same, only now it doesn't reek of oil paint all the time, which must say something about the technological advances.

"I've been teaching all over the world for the past few years, from nursery children upwards, but its great to work with older students.

"It's a real two-way process and I hope I inspire them as much as they inspire me."