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Britain issues set of James Bond stamps

LONDON - James Bond is on Her Majesty's Postal Service.

Britain's Royal Mail on Tuesday issued a set of stamps commemorating the fictional super-spy to mark 100 years since the birth of his creator, Ian Fleming.

The six stamps feature the original cover artwork of Bond thrillers including 'Dr. No,' 'Goldfinger,' 'Diamonds Are Forever' and 'From Russia With Love.' They come in a variety of denominations for both domestic and overseas use.

Aptly named actress Samantha Bond, who played secretary Miss Moneypenny in Pierce Brosnan's four Bond films, launched the stamps by posing for photographers beside an Aston Martin DB6, the suave secret agent's favorite car.

'Being involved with the Bond legend is always an adventure, and these new stamps are a wonderful start to this centenary year,' she said. 'James has always held a special place in my heart, and now he will set millions of other hearts fluttering around the world.'

Several events are lined up to mark the centenary of Fleming, a former journalist and wartime intelligence officer who introduced James Bond in the 1953 book 'Casino Royale.' The stylish, womanizing spy went on to appear in 13 more books before Fleming's death in 1968, and in more than 20 films since 'Dr. No' in 1962.

A James Bond exhibition is due to open at London's Imperial War Museum in April, and novelist Sebastian Faulks has written an official new 007 adventure, 'Devil May Care,' to be published May 28 - Fleming's 100th birthday.

A new and as-yet untitled Bond movie starring Daniel Craig in his second outing as 007 is due for release near the end of the year.