Thursday 14 May 2020

Next UK stamp issue: 60th Anniversary of TV Soap: 28 May 2020

Due to my absence on domestic duties most people will have seen at least some of the next issue to come from Royal Mail in my absence.  Nonetheless it is important that I catch up!

Royal Mail justifies this stamp issue thus (edited):
Celebrating the nation’s favourite soap, Tony Warren’s hit show was first broadcast through the public’s TV sets in December 1960. 60 years later, the show is an
integral part of British culture and celebrates its success with multi award-winning storylines, showstopping drama, just a little bit of comedy, and ground-breaking and much-loved characters. A show to welcome many firsts, it is loved by both young and old generations alike today with 6 episodes each week still watched by millions of viewers.
As my fellow-blogger WhiteKnight writes on
Coronation Street has established itself over the decades as a notable part of British culture and a philatelic commemoration of the programme is probably long overdue [It missed out on the ITV anniversary issue in 2005]. This is an excellent set and if any 2020 Royal Mail stamp issue is going to capture the attention of the British public (apart perhaps from a COVID-19 frontline workers issue) this is the one.
The stamp set and miniature sheet
The set consists of four se-tenant pairs of 2nd class, 1st class, £1.42 and £1.63 values.  Each depicts two characters from the programme from the very first in monochrome, up to recent times.  The miniature sheet consists of four stamps, two each of 1st class and £1.42 values all depicting barmaids at The Street's pub, the Rovers Return.

Retail Booklet 
The self-adhesive retail booklet contains the two 1st class special stamps and 4 x 1st class Machin definitives coded MCIL M20L.

All pictures shown are as provided by Royal Mail before the stamps are received.

Technical Details
The stamps and miniature sheet were both designed by The Chase, and printed by International Security Printers in lithography with PVA gum.
The stamps are 41mm (w) x 30mm (h), Landscape, and the miniature sheet hass 27mm (w) x 36mm (h) stamps, Portrait in a Sheet Sized 146mm x 74mm.
Acknowledgements: CORONATION ST ® and © ITV Studios Limited 2020. Licensed by ITV
Broadcasting Limited. All rights reserved.

Other Products
First Day Covers, Stamp Cards, Presentation Pack, Press Sheet, various framed products and enlarged and/or signed prints.

For those who think marking a 60th anniversary is maybe a step too far, Australia Post's latest series of special 'MyStamps' includes a set marking the 35th Anniversary of Channel 10 soap, Neighbours. If you think Royal Mail are excessive, on the same day OzPost is also selling similar over-face sets for Bugs Bunny, Cinderella, Princess, How to Train Your Dragon, DC-Comics' The Justice League, The Empire Strikes Back, and football and rugby clubs!


  1. It will be a sad day indeed if Royal Mail's reputation is to be summed up as providing products which are "not as bad as Australia's."

    The Coronation Street 'couples' stamps themselves are very good, but utterly ruined by the overlaid quotes (mostly unrelated to the particular image chosen, even though featuring the correct characters) - but (Yay!) the miniature sheet is actually deserving of the name, featuring four stamps as elements within a greater, integral, whole.

    One of the best (in conception and execution) issues of recent times, even if that is setting a low bar.

    1. I think the collecting world has changed a lot in the last 20 years, let alone the time I have been collecting.

      I'm sure a lot of effort went into choosing & cropping the images from 60 years' of footage. I'm sure effort went into selecting the captions, right or wrong. I'm sure a lot of effort went into all the other products that have been produced to sell to fans of the soap.

      I just think it is a poor choice for a stamp issue.

      A few years ago I wrote about Business Customised Sheets - A4 posters with stamps included which were totally incidental to the main theme.

      See - As far as I am concerned the stamp issues like this are no more welcome than those sheets were.

      But that's just a personal opinion.

  2. I despair, I really do. I don't find these stamps, like their 2018 'Dads Army' counterparts, interesting or aesthetically pleasing; I'm not a fan of either programme. I have very limited funds to spend on stamps and any month with multiple issues fills me with trepidation. Unfortunately, my collection as it stands requires me to purchase these issues; I'd rather not and I am increasingly questioning whether or not to continue collecting. It's not fun anymore.

    1. I think you have to forgo 'completeness' of whatever period. Royal Mail told us, maybe five years ago, that they were going to produce some stamp issues where a significant proportion of the sales by value would be from outside the philatelic or stamp-collecting community.

      The other income would come from fans of (you name it) and would be sold not only through the regular channels but at conventions (ComiCon etc) and on Amazon and other outlets.

      They made it quite clear that they didn't expect collectors to buy, not only every product of an issue, but every ISSUE. That is, they expected that an increasing number of collectors would buy by theme - eg the railways series, the royal & royal palaces series, and maybe modern entertainment industry themes.

      They still produce pre-printed albums, of course, with spaces for every stamp and miniature sheet, but I have expressed my views on those before.

      I would urge anybody who really enjoyed collecting and studying stamp until recent years to continue, but to restrict the purchase of new stamps and concentrate on something interesting, whether it is older stamps, postal history (see my other blog), or a thematic collection consisting of cheaper used all-world stamps on a theme of your choice.

    2. Eeeeen: "It's not fun anymore."

      At the beginning of this year, I ended my completist collection of more than two decades' standing. Having spent most of 2019 musing whether it was 'worth it' (financially or emotionally), I ultimately followed the advice of a message aimed at problem gamblers:
      "When the fun stops, STOP!"

  3. I think it would have been better for the 'End of WW2' stamps to be issued in August for VJ day, as that was the actual end of WW2. Then this week could have been used to issue stamps celebrating Florence Nightingale along with recognising the NHS staff and other key workers at this present time.
    As for the Coronation Street stickers they could have been issued in December to coincide with the first broadcast of the program.

  4. Can we at least hope that with only the same two stamps in the 'collectors' sheet as the retail booklet the printing will be the same so no additional varieties?

  5. Nope, afraid not! The booklet will be printed by Walsall and the sheet by Cartor.

    1. You mean one is printed by ISP and the other is also printed by ISP?

    2. The booklet is printed by ISP/Walsall in gravure and the sheet almost certainly in litho by ISP/Cartor, so they are still different

      (Sorry Trelantis I deleted your comment via the iPad believing I had already posted it from here, but now I find it still sitting here waiting for ther 'Publish' button to be clicked. It's been one of those in and out days.)

  6. I am a fan of Corrie and a modern GB collector, so I like this issue.
    Mini sheet is great, well thought out, but why include Gemma but omit the legendary Annie Walker

  7. I am running low on second class stamps so, if all is well, I may see if I can purchase some from the post office. If they still have a miniature sheet, I'll buy that too. I'm sure at least one of my penpals will appreciate the postage stamps taking my letters to them.


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