UK

Wallace & Gromit on Royal Mail Christmas stamps

Wallace & Gromit Christmas stamps
Image caption Royal Mail has been issuing Christmas stamps for almost 50 years

Academy-award winning characters Wallace & Gromit are to feature on Royal Mail's 2010 Christmas stamps.

The animation man and dog are shown posting cards on the 1st class stamp, carol singing on the 2nd class and dressing a tree on the 60p version.

Gromit carries a big pudding on the 97p stamp and wears a jumper on the £1.46.

Royal Mail designers worked closely with Wallace & Gromit creator Nick Park and Bristol-based Aardman Animations on the scenes for the stamps.

'Immortalised'

The stamps, which go on sale from 2 November, were created using the same approach as in the films featuring the clay models.

Mr Park drew scenes and visual jokes involving the characters, then refined the designs to work in the smaller stamp format.

He said it was an honour to have his characters "immortalised" on their very own stamps and it was one of the biggest challenges his team had ever faced.

Royal Mail spokesman Philip Parker said the festive stamps were one of the finest sets ever produced.

He said: "Nick and his team's attention to detail is legendary... keen-eyed collectors armed with a magnifying glass will see that the envelope seen being posted on the 1st class stamp features the actual 1st class stamp."

Royal Mail's policy for its official Christmas stamps is to alternate non-secular and secular themes each year - but non-secular festive issues are always available.

Madonna and Child

This year the 1st and 2nd class Madonna and Child stamps - first issued in 2007 - can be bought alongside the Wallace & Gromit set.

Previous secular stamp issues include Raymond Briggs' much-loved Father Christmas Book in 2004, traditional Christmas images in 2006 and pantomime dames in 2008.

The Royal Mail first issued Christmas stamps almost 50 years ago.

Mr Park's short Wallace & Gromit films The Wrong Trousers and A Close Shave, and the full-length feature The Curse of the Were-Rabbit have all won Academy Awards.

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites