Thunderbirds are go for celebration of 'Best of British' on stamps

The best of British will be celebrated in new stamps in 2011, ranging from the legendary tales of King Arthur and the 50th anniversary of the Royal Shakespeare Company to the man behind the Thunderbirds characters.

The Royal Mail said today that it believed the start of next year would see the most exciting range of new stamps launched.

The year will start with Genius of Gerry Anderson stamps, marking the 50th anniversary of his work, which includes Thunderbirds, Stingray and Joe 90.

Musicals will feature on eight new stamps in February, while in March they will reflect the tales of King Arthur and his court magician Merlin.

The 50th anniversary of environmental group WWF will also feature in March, with portraits of 10 animals on stamps, including the African elephant and the Siberian tiger.

Stamps in April will depict Shakespeare plays, showing theatres where the Royal Shakespeare Company has performed in Stratford- upon-Avon through the years.

Philip Parker, Royal Mail stamps spokesman, said: "This is by far the most exciting start to a year for Royal Mail stamps."