Wax works when you want to meet the stars at Madame Tussauds
Working in the media you get to meet, or be in the presence of, a famous person or two from time to time. Toyah Wilcox, Chris Barrie, Princess Anne, Gareth Gates and, err, Mister Maker and Andy from CBeebies spring to mind from recent years!
But last week in the space of a couple of hours I found myself rubbing shoulders with a huge collection of A-listers - I know I shouldn’t name drop, but would you be impressed if I said I had my photo taken with the likes of Morgan Freeman, David Cameron, the Queen, and One Direction?
Yes, you guessed it I’m waxing lyrical about my trip to London to visit a place I hadn’t been to since I was a teenager, namely Madame Tussauds.
Millions of people have flocked through the doors of the attraction since it first opened over 200 years ago and it remains just as popular as it ever was.
Museum-style ropes and poles have gone so guests can get up, close and personal with celebrities and historical icons, reliving the times, events and moments that made the world talk about them.
The biggest names in entertainment, sport and politics are all impressively represented and, vitally, the venue continues regularly to add new figures to reflect contemporary public opinion and celebrity popularity.
2014 alone has seen additions such as Ryan Gosling, Katy Perry, Jennifer Lopez, and Mo Farrah to name but a few. Then there was Bobby Moore’s arrival this summer ahead of the World Cup, Cheryl updated prior to X-Factor returning to our TV screens, and most recently Downton Abbey’s Hugh Bonneville who was unveiled just weeks ago (which took took the 24-strong team months to create at a cost of £150,000).
Once through the doors, you emerge from the lift to find the paparazzi dazzling you with their cameras and then it’s onto the party room to mingle with the stars.
My children (aged 6 and 8) were oblivious to who most of these people were, save for Cheryl, Mo Farrah, Usain Bolt, Kylie and the Royals, but that didn’t seem to deter them from the fun of posing for a photo with nearly every waxwork – and then, when back home, getting their grandparents to identify the stars they were pictured with.
I won’t list all the celebs you’ll find through the various themed areas, but, while they were all very realistic, I thought Morgan Freeman, One Direction, the Prime Minister, and Arnie with part of his face missing to reveal the Terminator lurking below the skin, were particularly impressive.
And who could resist and striking a lightning pose alongside Usain Bolt, hanging out with 007 Daniel Craig, or having Nicole Kidman or Kate Winslet on your arm!
After the waxworks, came the ominous sounding Scream! attraction. It features live actors in a Chamber of Horrors scenario, but with it not recommended for under 12s we skipped that bit and moved on to a room which gave an insight on how the models are created.
Then it was the time to hop on board for the Spirit of London cab ride that took us on a tour of London through the ages, which my children found fascinating as it tied in with some of their work at school.
To round off the fun it was time for a super finale as we entered the Marvel Superheroes section, where my son clambered on Spiderman for a photo, while my daughter headed for The Hulk.
We then entered the 4D cinema for 15-minute animated movie, which included being squirted with water, jabbed in the back of a vibrating seat and having a blast of air at the appropriate moment in the storyline. Superb, and it provoked an ovation from the audience at the conclusion.
On our way out there was a computer screen asking who we’d like to see immortalised in the future - Simon Cowell seemed to be the verdict of my children.
So Madame Tussauds proved to be an excellent outing and proved that wax works when you want to give people a day out to remember.