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Friday, January 15, 1999 Published at 18:28 GMT


Whose head on your stamp?

The thought of Dalek stamps was popular, while John Lennon was also in demand

This year the Royal Mail is issuing a special selection of stamps celebrating famous or historical figures from the past 1,000 years.

There are 12 separate categories, one for each month and the four stamps celebrating great entertainers are to be released in June.

The Royal Mail's choices are still to be confirmed, but they could include a Doctor Who Dalek, Coronation Street character Ena Sharples, Queen singer Freddie Mercury and football legend Bobby Moore. So far, the only entertainer who will definitely be on Britain's envelopes in June is Charlie Chaplin.

Earlier in the week we asked which entertainers BBC News Online readers would like to see immortalised on stamps for the millennium.

The Daleks have received resounding support so far. Steve Maginn in the UK pointed out it would be "very collectable".

"They would make a great deal of money out of a Dalek stamp," he said.

From the US, Jean-Pierre Harrison had his childhood memories stirred. "They scared the living daylights out of me when I was child. I became very friendly with the back of the couch," he said.

[ image: Eric Morecambe: A popular choice]
Eric Morecambe: A popular choice
Stephen Bridges is not so sure the Daleks qualify - they're still alive and well in his mind. "One question though - they're not dead?"

The second most popular choice was John Lennon. Danny from the UK said: "He is probably the most important British entertainer of the last 100 years."

The comedian Eric Morecambe got the vote from Thomas Greenough who said of his choice, "Do I need a reason?"

Peter Milton plumped for Tommy Cooper. "When the bills arrive with his photo on at least you can smile at the best of this century," he said.

Some readers wanted to look further back in time. Dylan Rowland commented: "We have one thousand years of history to choose from. Surely it would not be too great an imposition upon people to try to think a little further back than the last 50 to 100 years.

[ image: The show must go on: Queen fans back Freddie Mercury on Britain's stamps]
The show must go on: Queen fans back Freddie Mercury on Britain's stamps
"In a small attempt to redress this 'modern bias' I would nominate Robin Hood as a famous and influential historical figure worthy of recognition on a stamp."

Gonzalo San Martin also delved back in time to nominate William Shakespeare - "the prime entertainer of his time".

Mandy in Canada suggested Bob Marley. "He brought a whole form of music to the forefront in a time when the music industry wasn't dealing with social issues," she said.

S. Shafi in the US backed the possibility of Freddie Mercury appearing on stamps, noting: "The music he made with Queen is on the lips of a huge number of people the world over."

Sarah Hadley had an intriguing suggestion. "I'd like to nominate the late Peter Cushing, she said. The 1950s production of 1984 in which he starred received the largest British TV audience to date - aside from the Queen's coronation - and therefore I think a stamp should be made portraying him in his 1984 role."

Finally, J George Hunter in Switzerland suggested the Monty Python team - "they are, as a group - 'deceased', aren't they?"

Which famous British entertainers would you like to see featured on Royal Mail stamps - and why?

Let us know here.

Remember to include details of your name and country and don't forget that your choice must be deceased!

We will publish your replies next week.

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Internet Links

Royal Mail

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Instant Karma! - John Lennon and Yoko Ono fan site


BBC Online's Peter Cushing interview

Monty Python: beeb @ the BBC Comedy Zone

Morecambe & Wise: beeb @ the BBC Comedy Zone

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