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Thursday, 23 April, 1998, 03:21 GMT 04:21 UK
Comic genius is licked
stamps
The new Comedians collector's set of stamps
Britain's comic greats have been given the royal seal of approval with a new set of stamps.

The collector's item stamps featuring caricatures of Les Dawson, Tommy Cooper, Eric Morecambe, Joyce Grenfell and Peter Cook go on sale on Thursday.

All five were popular stand-up comedians who have died in the last 20 years.

The Comedians set was drawn by the satirical cartoonist Gerald Scarfe.

He said: "All these comedians gave me great enjoyment when they were alive.

"I was honoured and delighted to be asked to draw them for the stamps."

When the introduction of the new stamps was announced there was a storm of protest because Tony Hancock had not been included.

But Royal Mail said he did not fit the bill for the collection as a stand-up comedian and had been rejected by the selection panel.

The Royal Mail's marketing manager, Giles Finnemore said: "Comedy is one of Britain's great national assets and these special stamps celebrate the laughter and enjoyment that comedians have created over the years."

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