LONDON Paul McCartney will fulfill a lifelong wish on Tuesday when he appears in the final print edition of Britain's longest-running children's comic The Dandy, a favourite of the ex-Beatle when he was growing up in Liverpool.
The comic that brought beloved characters including pie-eating cowboy Desperate Dan and Korky the Cat to millions of homes is going digital-only from Tuesday, 75 years after it was first published.
The weekly publication sold more than two million copies in its 1950s heyday, but with children lured by alternative entertainment from television and video games, circulation fell to less than 8,000.
Published in the Scottish city of Dundee by DC Thomson, executives are describing digital-only Dandy as a chance for a "new lease of life" rather than the beginning of the end.
McCartney contacted Dandy after the digital switch was first announced in August.
He said that in an interview with music magazine NME in 1963 he was asked what his personal ambition was, and he replied that he wanted to have his picture in The Dandy.
"I hope it's not too late!" the 70-year-old wrote in a letter. "The Dandy was a favourite comic of mine when growing up in Liverpool and each week I would look forward to the exploits of Desperate Dan and his other comic book colleagues."
He will be seen grimacing as Desperate Dan squeezes his fingers in a firm handshake, after which McCartney leads 50 of the comic's most famous characters in a sing-a-long of the Beatles hit "Hey Jude".
(Reporting by Mike Collett-White, editing by Paul Casciato)