Isle of Dogs, London - An entire print run of commemorative second class stamps featuring a new painting of Queen Elizabeth may have to be consigned to the shredder following an eruption of public disgust.
Commissioned** by Royal Mail the portrait on the 'tuppenny blue' has been criticized for resembling a scary, dead ringer Margaret Thatcher puppet from the 1980s UK TV show Spitting Image.
"It's got the snarl and the wild-eyed Bonkers Thatcher look about it," part-time Barking philatelist and constitutional expert Sir Archie Barnacle commented.
"Plus, if you look closely at the shadow on the Queen's throat it looks like a bloody aardvark's noshing her pearls."
The image shows Elizabeth Windsor in her Order of the Gutter robes topped off with a dodgy, bouffant wig last seen on the head of Hugh Laurie during his Blackadder The Third TV role as Prince Regent George.
Other critics have panned the stamp issue for abandoning a widely expected self-adhesive backing and substituting cheap, lickable glue instead.
"Tastes a bit like an oozing mouth ulcer," Barnacle added, "the kind you get for not brushing your teeth.
"Glad to hear the taste buds are likely to recover with mouthwash therapy, should be back to normal by the end of the year."
** Royal portraitist Waldo 'Scrubby' Gingivitis Jr was paid a reported $10,000 to execute the image from a set of earlier, Rolf Harris-painted pics.