POSTMAN Clive Loveday made a special delivery to Dolly Parton.

The Swindon postie was entrusted with delivering the first book to children at the UK launch of the country singer's Imagination Library.

The US singer, pictured right during a patriotic gig, was in London to present books to youngsters from Rotherham who are the first on the scheme, which provides a new book each month from birth until the age of five.

A person in the local community funds the cost of the books, while Dolly Parton's foundation covers the overheads.

Mr Loveday, of Hythe Road, Old Town, was invited to deliver the books because he is Royal Mail's community postman of the year in recognition of his work teaching young people the dangers of alcohol.

His son Matthew died after drinking too much at a New Year's Eve party.

Speaking after the launch at the Savoy Hotel, Mr Loveday said: "It was great to meet Dolly and take part in the launch of the Imagination Library in the UK.

"You can tell it's something which Dolly is extremely passionate about and that she's delighted that children in the UK will now be receiving books through her programme."

The singer's Imagination Library was founded in 1996 as a way to inspire children in her hometown of Sevierville, Tennessee.

In the United Kingdom, the first book in the 60-volume collection is Beatrix Potter's Tales of Peter Rabbit. The first books will be mailed to registered children early next year.