The world’s longest running comic, The Beano, is marking its 85th anniversary this week with guest appearances from top stars including Stormzy and Harry Styles.
The special commemorative issue, on sale from Wednesday, also features the King and Queen alongside other notable celebrities such as F1 racing driver Lewis Hamilton, former England footballer Jill Scott, singer Adele and broadcaster David Attenborough.
The guests were picked after 3,000 children aged seven to 14 were polled to work out which celebrities they would most like to see in cartoon form.
Footballer Marcus Rashford was voted the most inspirational celebrity, while children said their top pick for celebrities they would invite to their birthday party would be TV duo Ant & Dec.
The pair were also picked as the celebrities kids would most like to be best friends with, followed by Spider-Man actor Tom Holland, Manchester City player Phil Foden and Styles.
Beano artist Nigel Parkinson has drawn the celebrities assisting the Beanotown kids in stopping Mayor Brown from carving his own face into Mount Beano for the birthday celebrations.
The King can be seen wondering if he is the monarch in Beanotown, and the Queen informs him that children rule in the fictional town.
The Prince and Princess of Wales also feature in the comic strip as well as singer Dua Lipa.
An eight-page pull-out, titled Beanow, has also been created from children’s comments and pictures summing up the highlights of being a child in the present day, including dancing, rapping and catapults.
More than 4,100 issues of The Beano have been printed since its launch in 1938 with over 70,000 comic strips and 700 characters, including Dennis and Gnasher, the Bash Street Kids and Billy Whizz.
Mike Stirling, head of “mischief” at The Beano, said: “As Beano proudly celebrates its 85th anniversary, it continues to champion the power and joy of childhood by doing what it’s always done, showing kids being kids.
“Here’s to the next 85 years, and we dedicate this birthday issue to every child out there, because being a kid never gets old.”
To ensure as many children as possible get the chance to enjoy the special edition, 2,023 issues will be given out to classrooms across the country through the Beano for Schools programme.
Special subscription prizes will also be made available across the birthday week. More details can be found at beano.com/birthday