Comedy stamps launched on the silliest of days

Michael Palin and The Pythons are some of British comedy's finest who feature on a new commemorative set of stamps.
Michael Palin and The Pythons are some of British comedy's finest who feature on a new commemorative set of stamps.
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THEY ARE a cast of stars who have tickled the nation for decades and so in a fitting ode to their talents, some of Britain’s most revered comedians are being celebrated on the silliest of all days.

The Royal Mail is marking April Fools’ Day today by issuing a set of stamps featuring an all-star cast of faces who have brought wit and laughter to millions.

The stamps focus on widely recognisable performers from the tradition of stand-up and sketch shows, dating as far back as the 1940s.

Morecambe and Wise and The Two Ronnies were chosen to represent the continuity of a variety style of comedy and for influencing countless other on-screen double acts since.

Had he been alive this year, the late Norman Wisdom would have celebrated his 100th birthday this month. Best known for playing the hapless on-screen character Norman Pitkin in the 1950s and 1960s, he adorns one of the collectible stamps in honour of his influence on a new generation of ‘physical comedians’ such as Lee Evans.

For contributions to British comedy on a similar scale, the Royal Mail has also picked Billy Connolly, Victoria Wood, Spike Milligan, Lenny Henry, Peter Cook and Dudley Moore, French and Saunders and Sheffield-born Michael Palin among the six-strong cast of Pythons, to feature on the 10 first class stamps.

Andrew Hammond, head of stamps at Royal Mail, said: “For decades, the UK has long boasted some of the most influential and significant comedy talent in the world. This set of stamps rightly pays tribute to the comedians who have made the nation laugh out loud at their ground-breaking comedy genius.”

Royal Mail also issued a special postmark to mark the new issue, while post vans in locations with strong links to the comedians will feature an image of the relevant stamp.

The stamps are on sale now, both online via the Royal Mail website and from 8,000 Post Offices across the UK.