Wax Models Unveiled
Feature from 2011
It has been nearly 40 years since the wax models of Morecambe and Wise first appeared in Madam Tussauds. It was February 11th 1972 when the rather odd looking figures were unveiled, even Eric said his own model looked more like Cliff Mitchelmore than himself. Still, they drew the crowds as Tussauds continues to do, especially with their newer, Northern exhibitions in Blackpool.
The new models
Since then technologies have moved on and the new models unveiled today (11th August 2011) at the Blackpool attraction are much more accurate.
Both of the comedians widows were on hand to officially launch the new figures and both agreed the newer versions were a more lifelike than their older, seventies equivalents.
Depicted doing their iconic dance, the figures have been carefully recreated using photos and measurements taken from the comedians during a sitting in the 1960s. This is the first time they have been made in these poses – each figure costs approximately £150,000 to produce and takes six months with each individual hair being inserted by hand.
Joan Morecambe and Doreen Wise came to see the figures face to face for the first time at the new Blackpool works which recently opened on the Promenade.
Doreen said on seeing the figures: “They are unbelievably realistic. The hair is amazing and there is such good detail in the faces. The sculptors have captured just how they were.”
Joan added: “The poses are perfect. It is great seeing them looking so animated and we can really tell that a lot of work has gone into them.”
Morecambe and Wise have a long history at Blackpool since their first show at the Winter Gardens in 1953. The couples would each rent a house in the seaside town for the duration of their shows, which could run up to 26 weeks, giving Doreen and Joan many fond memories.
Joan said: “Blackpool was the place to be over the summer and while the shows were on we would make friends with the other performers and the local people. We used to have the best parties every week with Joan Regan, Des O’Connor, Tommy Cooper and Josef Locke.”
Doreen added: “It was the heyday for theatre, if you performed in Blackpool it showed that you had really made it. We saw Frank Sinatra and Cliff Richard perform while we were staying here. It was a huge excitement to come back today and we are so pleased that the figures will be in the Blackpool Madame Tussauds.”
The figures are positioned in the comedy legends section of Madame Tussauds Blackpool, alongside other greats such as Tommy Cooper, the Two Ronnies and Joanna Lumley.
Joan said: “The section with the comedians is excellent; it has been presented very well. We love the fact that you can get right in amongst the figures and get up close. I think they will go down really well in Blackpool. Their humour is still so popular today because it is timeless. It is good clean fun and not topical so it will never date.”
Doreen added: “Their comedy is as fresh today as when it was made. I think it will continue to entertain even beyond our years.”
Morecambe and Wise take pride of place at the new Blackpool attraction alongside other figures from the world of TV, music and sport. The attraction is the first Madame Tussauds in the UK outside of London and features highly interactive sets and experiences, where visitors can literally step into their TV and join the likes of Bruce Forsyth, Gok Wan, Susan Boyle plus many many more.
© morecambeandwise.com 2011