Wallace and Gromit are stamp stars
Academy Award winners Wallace and Gromit are to make a special appearance in millions of homes worldwide after signing up to feature on Royal Mail's Christmas stamps.
On sale from November 2, the stamps feature the nation's favourite animated characters going about their festive duties with the 1st class stamp showing the pair posting their Christmas cards. Wallace and Gromit go carol singing on the 2nd class stamp and dress the Christmas tree on the 60p stamp.
As usual, Gromit is left to do the majority of the work, carrying the cards and hauling an unfeasibly large Christmas pudding around on the 97p stamp, with his reward being a bone-themed jumper shown on the £1.46 stamp.
Like the Plasticine duo's award-winning films, the stamps are packed with detail, but with the added challenge of reducing the "world of Wallace and Gromit" down to stamp size.
To achieve this, Royal Mail's design team worked closely with creator Nick Park and Bristol-based Aardman Animations to devise brand new scenes featuring the pair.
Mr Park said: "It's been such a wonderful honour and a pleasure to work with Royal Mail and to have my characters, Wallace and Gromit, immortalised on their very own stamps.
"It was one of the biggest challenges my talented team and I have faced yet - to create memorable Christmas images of the duo - the size of postage stamps. But we knew we'd lick it in the end."
Royal Mail spokesman Philip Parker said: "The process of developing these stamps has been a labour of love for all concerned - but I think it has resulted in one of the finest sets of Christmas stamps Royal Mail has ever produced.
"Nick and his team's attention to detail is legendary, but their efforts to bring Christmas with Wallace and Gromit to life on stamps is truly extraordinary.
"Keen-eyed collectors armed with a magnifying glass will see that the envelope seen being posted on the 1st Class stamp features the actual 1st class stamp."