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Wednesday, 22 September, 1999, 15:35 GMT 16:35 UK
Stamp of approval for Bee Gees
The Bee Gees: Manx-born superstars
The Isle of Man is honouring three of its most famous sons - by issuing special stamps in honour of the Bee Gees.

Six sets of stamps will be issued by the island's post office on 12 October, each one themed around a Bee Gees song.

But Barry Gibb and his younger twin brothers Robin and Maurice will not actually appear on the stamps themselves - photographs of them during their career will instead appear on the stamp sheets.

Members of the royal family are the only living people allowed to be featured on the island's stamps, just as in the UK. The Queen also has to give her permission for new stamp designs.

The design for the Words stamp
The songs depicted on the stamps are Massachusetts, Words, and I've Gotta Get A Message To You from the 1960s, and Night Fever and Stayin' Alive from the 1970s.

The group's newest single, Immortality, is included on a minature sheet, as is Ellan Vannin, a traditional Manx song recorded by the band on a charity CD being issued with the stamps.

A statement issued by the band's management said: "The Bee Gees are truly honoured to be selected for this unique tribute.

"Barry, Robin and Maurice are most enthusiastic to be honoured in this manner by the nation of their birth.

The port at Douglas: The Bee Gees' home town
"They consider this to be a milestone accomplishment in their four decade career."

Robin Gibb himself called the stamps "marvellous", adding: "We're thrilled, we're from the Isle of Man, it's where we were born, and of course being approved by the Queen - it's a great honour."

The issue marks Robin and Maurice's 50th birthday, which is on 22 December. They were born in the island's capital, Douglas, as was 52-year-old Barry. Ironically, their mother used to run a small post office on the island.

The brothers moved into showbusiness shortly after the Gibb family moved to Australia in 1958. They now live in Miami.

The stamps will be launched on Thursday at the London Palladium, where a revival of Saturday Night Fever is currently playing, and another ceremony will be held next month when the show opens in New York.

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