Australia Post is celebrating half a century of Australia’s longest running children’s television program Play School with the release of two stamps.
Australia Post Philatelic Manager Michael Zsolt, said: “This stamp issue celebrates Play School’s historic achievement and highlights the significant role the program has played in the lives of generations of Australians.”
“We trust this stamp issue will be enjoyed by young collectors and Play School fans, as well as those young at heart”, he said.
Robert Patterson, Director of ABC Commercial said “We are thrilled the Play School brand has been celebrated in this way by Australia Post. For 50 years Play School has entertained pre-schoolers across Australia and been welcomed into households with music, books, DVDs, toys and now a beautiful collection of stamps.”
Since the Australian version of Play School was first broadcast on the morning of Monday 18 July 1966, generations of Australians have looked through the Windows and sung along to the iconic theme song “There’s a Bear in There” by Richard Connolly and Dr Rosemary Milne.
Encouraging children to wonder, think, feel and imagine, each episode features two presenters – and a cast of iconic toys including Big Ted, Little Ted, Jemima and Humpty – who sing songs and explore a variety of play and craft activities based on a daily theme.
Ninety-one presenters have been part of the program, many of them professional actors who have become firm audience favourites. Lorraine Bayly, Dianne Dorgan, Kerry Francis, Anne Haddy, Donald MacDonald and Alister Smart formed the initial cast of presenters in 1966, with Benita Collings featured in a record 401 episodes between 1969 and 1999.
The domestic base-rate ($1) and large letter rate ($2) stamps were designed by Melbourne-based designer Jonathan Chong and feature some favourite characters from the TV show:
- Jemima and Humpty are at a party, as a reference to the 50-year celebrations, in front of the Round Window.
- Big Ted and Little Ted are ready to play ball, in front of the Arched Window.
The products associated with this stamp issue are a minisheet, first day cover, stamp pack, sheetlet pack with stickers, booklet of 10 x $1 self-adhesive stamps, two stamp and coin covers, medallion cover and a set of two maxicards.
The 50 Years of Play School stamp issue is available from 26 July 2016 at participating Post Offices, via mail order on 1800 331 794 and online at auspost.com.au/stamps while stocks last.
Visit the Australia Post Collectables website australiapostcollectables.com.au for a forthcoming article on Play School. The Australia Post Collectables website is a central resource for stamp collectors and philatelic enthusiasts across the globe.