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Last Updated: Tuesday, 8 January 2008, 11:39 GMT
James Bond stamp set goes on sale
James Bond stamps
Each stamp features four different covers

A set of extra-long stamps marking the centenary of the birth of James Bond creator Ian Fleming has been launched.

Each of the six stamps shows a selection of different 007 novel covers, with first-class stamps featuring Casino Royale and Dr No.

The 54p and 78p stamps include Goldfinger and For Your Eyes Only.

Fleming's relatives are helping to launch the stamps at their Oxfordshire post office, in the village where the author spent much of his childhood.

Actress Samantha Bond, who played Miss Moneypenny alongside Pierce Brosnan as Bond, has also posed beside an Aston Martin DB6 to publicise the new collection.

We couldn't be more thrilled that the Bond books are being featured on the stamps
Robert Laycock
Ian Fleming's great nephew

The Royal Mail 007 collection is on sale at Post Offices and online.

"It is estimated that over half the world's population have heard of James Bond which is an incredible testament to the imagination of his creator, Ian Fleming," said Julietta Edgar, the Royal Mail's head of special stamps.

"I'm delighted to see that the most famous super-spy is once again in the service of Queen and country and will be appearing on millions of items of post."

Fleming's two great nephews, Robert and Diggory Laycock, will show off giant versions of the stamps outside the post office in Nettlebed, Oxfordshire, which they recently bought with Fleming's great-niece Rose Grimond.

Fleming used to stay at his grandparent's home in the village and his father, Major Valentine Fleming, was a Conservative MP for nearby Henley-on-Thames.

Robert Laycock, who is taking over as subpostmaster of the post office this week, said the stamps were a tremendous way of celebrating his great uncle's life and achievements.

"We couldn't be more thrilled that the Bond books are being featured on the stamps in what is a very significant year for Ian's work," he said.

Corinne Turner, Managing Director of Ian Fleming Publications Ltd, said: "It is a privilege for Ian Fleming's novels to be celebrated by the Royal Mail special stamps' programme and we couldn't ask for a better start to his centenary year."

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