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    U.K. to launch James Bond stamps

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    LONDON, December 28 (RIA Novosti) - The U.K. will launch six extra-long stamps to mark the centenary since the birth of Ian Fleming, known as the creator of the world's best known secret agent, James Bond, Royal Mail said Friday.

    The stamps will be issued in January, 2008, and will feature different editions of Fleming's most famous novels, including Casino Royale and Dr No.

    The 54 penny stamps will reveal the covers of Goldfinger and Diamonds Are Forever, and the final series of the 78 penny stamps will display For Your Eyes Only and From Russia With Love.

    In October, 007, Her Majesty's secret agent, or just plain, "Bond - James Bond," celebrated 45 years as a big screen hero.

    Dr No, the first of Ian Fleming's novels about the smooth-talking British spy to be made into a movie, was released in 1962.

    Since then the twenty-one Bond films have grossed over $4 billion worldwide. Six actors have portrayed agent 007: Sean Connery, George Lazenby, Roger Moore, Timothy Dalton, Pierce Brosnan and Daniel Craig. Each of them, sometimes subtly, sometimes not, changed the character, adding something of his own.

    James Bond, named after an American ornithologist, was created by Ian Fleming while on holiday in Jamaica in 1952. Fleming said he wanted a plain-sounding name for his character, something which would reflect his anonymous and neutral nature as an instrument of MI6.

    In 45 years, agent 007 has been all over the world - from Russia to Jamaica, from the U.S. to the Amazon. Many of his catchphrases have entered the global lexicon, and his favored Vodka-Martini cocktail has became a cult drink. Audiences have also fallen for his supporting characters, such as Miss Moneypenny, his charming and witty secretary.

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