Thursday, August 09, 2012

Royal Mail London2012 stamps featured on TV again yesterday - this time on Channel4 News. Former Newsround presenter Krishnan Guru-Murthy reported the story -

Krishnan: Royal Mail has been criticised over plans to celebrate Britain's winning Paralympians differently from Olympic gold medallists. During the Olympic games, Royal Mail is issuing a stamp with the image of each British gold medallist in action. The stamps are available within a day, and the local postbox of each athlete is painted gold. But for next month's Paralympics gold medallists will not get a stamp each. Instead a series of six stamps will be issued to cover them all, after the Games. Well, the decision has been criticised by Paralympic commentators.

James Ballardie talks to Channel4 News (8th August 2012)

James Ballardie: (on video clip) I come at it from the point of view of being the world's greatest Paralympics fan. I just want to celebrate the games, like Olympics fans want to celebrate the games. And when my heroes win a medal I want to see that celebrated in the same way.

Krishnan: Well, earlier I was joined by Tim Cowen from Royal Mail

Tim Cowen talks to Krishnan Guru-Murthy on C4 News (8th August 2012)

Krishnan: Why are you not treating the Paralympians the same way you're treating the Olympians?

Tim: I think we're doing a great deal to celebrate the Paralympic games. We're doing more than any other postal administration ever has to ..

Krishnan: Why aren't you treating them like Olympians?

Tim: We are treating them like Olympians. Every single ParalympicsGB gold medallist will be featured on a Royal Mail stamp, which will be available after the games. We're also making a donation to the British Paralympic Association, which will be shared equally between all the gold medalists. And the British Paralympic Association themselves have gone on record to say they're very pleased with what we've done.

Krishnan: All of which is great. But you are going to do 22 individual stamps for the 22 gold medal winners in the Olympics, and you're gonna bunch the Paralympic winners all together in to a handful of stamps. That is not treating them the same.

Tim: That is correct, but the challenge we've got ..

Krishnan: Why?

Tim: Well the challenge we've got is simply logistics. ParalympicsGB are so successful - or we expect them to be so successful - they'll just get so many gold medals that we won't be able to do an individual stamp for each.

Krishnan: But if you can do 22, why can't you do 45?

Tim: Well I have to say, we've never done 22 before. And the logi..

Krishnan: But you are doing 22

Tim: The logistics of that have just about stretched us to the limit. We reckon the maximum we can do on any one day is 6. On Super-Saturday we got 6 gold medals, and we just about managed to do that. During the Paralympics we may be looking at something like 48 to 50 gold medals over a ten day period - so that would be ten (sic) gold medals a day.

Krishnan: You know I'm sure they wouldn't mind if there was a little bit of a delay in their stamp coming out...

Krishnan finished the interview by asking Tim if there was any chance of a policy review. Tim responded that the British Paralympic Association were "very, very pleased" with Royal Mail's arrangements. Tim believed there was no need to review the situation, and he thought the Paralympians will be delighted when they see what's been done.

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