Wallace and Gromit

It’s hard to believ, but Wallace and Gromit are 20 years old this year!

The pair made their debut in 1989’s A Grand Day Out and to celebrate the 20th anniversary, publishers Egmont have released a book called The Art of Wallace and Gromit.

The book features the famous characters in early stages of development. The creator, Nick Park, and his animation studio Aardman, have a month-long exhibition at The Illustration Cupboard in St James’s, which opens tomorrow.

Since the Plastcine pair first emerged on our screens, they’ve become pop culture icons on a par with the most famous animated characters like Mickey Mouse, Bug Bunny and Snoopy.

The Wigan pair, with their combined love of Wensleydale cheese, wonky gadgets and rural England have, according to Icons, done “more to improve the image of the English world-wide than any officially appointed ambassadors”.

From the small screen, the loveable duo made the leap to the silver screen and along the way, won Academy Awards and a whole host of other gongs.

As if that wasn’t enough, Wallace and Gromit also survived an unscripted adventure in ’96, when their creator Nick Park accidentally left them in the boot of a New York taxi. Thankfully, they were returned safely after widespread media appeals.

So raise a nice cup of tea and wish Wallace and Gromit a happy birthday!

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