Welcome back, Ken!
A much-loved soap star’s wax work has been re-instated at Blackpool’s Madame Tussauds after the actor who plays him was cleared of sex
The £150,000 figure of William Roache – aka Ken Barlow in ITV’s Coronation Street – was returned to its stand following its removal by staff in May last year when it was attacked by vandals and used to take inappropriate photographs.
Matthew Titherington, general manager at Madame Tussauds Blackpool, said: “We made the decision to temporarily remove the Ken Barlow figure from display in the middle of last year after we received a number of comments relating to its continued inclusion, but even more importantly witnessed some unacceptable behaviour from a very small number of visitors. Behaviour we did not condone in any way.
“We said at the time it was always our intention to review this decision in the light of future events and therefore we are reinstating the figure in time for half term.”
The figure was returned to its place at the bar of the replica Rovers Return pub– next to the waxwork of Ken’s on-screen wife Deirdre.
It was given a full make-over, which included the wax work being re-painted and the studio team blow drying his hair, fitting new eyelashes and replacing his eyebrow hairs.
Mr Titherington added: “Our figures are chosen because we, and our visitors, believe they have made a significant impact/contribution to the world around them or they ‘earn’ their place through visitor
demand, as in the case of ‘Ken’.
“The Coronation Street set in Madame Tussauds Blackpool is a very popular part of the attraction, and has been since it opened in 2011.”
Mr Roache, 81, was charged with two rapes and five indecent assaults relating to alleged incidents involving girls aged under 16 more than 40 years ago in Haslingden and at Granada Studios in Manchester.
He was cleared by jurors at Preston Crown Court on February 6.