Dennis the Menace: New Royal Mail stamps celebrate the Beano cartoon icon

The beloved Beano cartoon character Dennis the Menace is featuring on a new special range of postage stamps released by Royal Mail to celebrate his birthday and significance in British culture.

Dennis the Menace: New Royal Mail stamps celebrate the Beano cartoon icon - how old is Dennis the Menace? (Image credit: Royal Mail/PA Wire)
Dennis the Menace: New Royal Mail stamps celebrate the Beano cartoon icon - how old is Dennis the Menace? (Image credit: Royal Mail/PA Wire)

The stamps unveiled today are shining a light on the character created in the mid 20th century and brought to life in cartoon strips, animated television series and films ever since.

Dennis the Menace’s name is known far and wide as a loveable prankster with a talent for causing mischief and mayhem in the pages of the UK’s favourite comic, The Beano.

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The figure cherished by multiple generations of people growing up throughout Britain has become a household name after helping to cement the success of The Beano which, published by DC Thompson in Dundee, saw a whopping weekly circulation in April 1950 of 1,974,072.

Six stamps feature images of the perennial naughty schoolboy from a black-and-white comic strip in 1951, meeting his baby sister Bea, adopting his faithful dog Gnasher and finding out that his father is a grown-up version of Dennis from the 1980s. (Image credit: Royal Mail/PA Wire)
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Mike Stirling, editorial director of Dundee-based Beano Studios, said: "Dennis has stamped his personality across first class laughs and mischief for generations of children.

"We believe everyone has a little bit of the Dennis spirit within them, so can't wait for fans big and small to take delivery of this amazing piece of Dennis history. This incredible stamp collection really pushes the envelope of philately flattery for our hero."

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Who is Dennis the Menace?

Dennis was first brought to life in a pencil sketch in January 1951 by Scottish illustrator and cartoonist David Law along with his pet dog and partner in crime, Gnasher, with Dennis making his debut in The Beano later that year.

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As British cartoonist David Sutherland went onto sketch the dynamic, mischievous duo immortalised on the front covers of Beano editions for decades, Dennis the Menace and Gnasher became central to The Beano’s success – with the publication marking its 4000th copy in August 2009.

Holding his signature slingshot and dressed in his iconic red and black striped jumper and bright red socks, the character has long been treasured by the nation and gained notoriety worldwide.

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How old is Dennis the Menace?

The stamps have been released by Royal Mail to celebrate the 70th birthday of Dennis the Menace, the cherished cartoon character brought to life in the heart of Dundee.

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Natasha Ayivor, of Royal Mail, said: "For seven decades Dennis has been entertaining children by getting into all manner of mischief and mayhem.

"Generations have experienced the excitement and anticipation of reading about Dennis's latest prank. Royal Mail is delighted to be honouring Dennis and Gnasher with a set of stamps as the ultimate birthday present."

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How many stamps are available?

Six stamps feature images of the perennial naughty schoolboy from a black-and-white comic strip in 1951, meeting his baby sister Bea, adopting his faithful dog Gnasher and finding out that his father is a grown-up version of Dennis from the 1980s.

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The stamps are based on original strips from Beano comics of the time.

A further four stamps, exclusively illustrated by the current Dennis artist, Nigel Parkinson, are from a comic strip written especially for Royal Mail, focusing on Dennis's birthday celebrations and including a brief "history of Menaces".

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Additional reporting by PA Industrial Correspondent Alan Jones

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