Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Can you see who it is yet?

Months and months ago I wrote a post celebrating the uniquely awful waxworks of Louis Tussaud. I implore you to go and look at that post (click here) and marvel at the utter lack of likeness in the featured 'celebrities'. It has me in stitches every time I look.

Well, joy of joys ... today, quite by accident, I stumbled upon a piece from the Daily Telegraph newspaper from January which stated that many of the exhibits at the Great Yarmouth Tussaud's were up for sale. Even better was the set of photos that accompanied the feature (see above - click for a larger image). Can you can guess who these celebrities are? The answers are at the foot of this post and I apologise to my non-Brit visitors that you may not know who some of these people are. Actually, I suspect that many Brits won't have a clue who they are either. They're that bad.
The best write-up about Louis Tussaud's House of Wax I've read comes from the Nothing to see here website. Here's a shameless lift:

'Barely hanging on to the most easterly tip of England, Great Yarmouth is the seaside town that time forgot. Within minutes of our arrival we discover this temporal isolation permeates the town's whole being. At the core of Great Yarmouth’s time warp sits Louis Tussauds House of Wax. Its terrible likenesses have been widely mocked via viral emails and national radio.

Due to a lack of investment or more likely a lack of will, Louis Tussauds is a time capsule of the 1970s and early 80s. Jim Davidson stands proudly at the front of a display of television personalities featuring amongst others Dirty Den and Angie, Sam Fox and the cast of Dynasty. There's a whole gallery of military figures with Churchill and Hitler headlining. Modern day is represented by a lost looking Victoria and David Beckham, but they are probably just the old Morecombe and Wise figures melted down and given new hairstyles.


Those celebrities that are still famous are presented in their 80s outfits. Margaret Thatcher sits at the centre of the world leaders display, Kylie and Jason Donovan are frozen as fresh faced Neighbours newlyweds, and Gary Lineker is still just a boring footballer.

I suspect this lack of renewal is no accident. If England hadn't become so enchanted by Sudoku, circular teabags and the Greek Islands then Great Yarmouth would still be the king of seaside resorts and the Radio One road show would be permanently anchored on the beachfront.'


Glorious.

Head photos are copyright Albanpix and the Daily Telegraph. The Beatles and Laurel and Hardy found with Google image search. Copyright holders unknown.

Those photos - Of course they are ... Starsky and Hutch, Adam Ant and Larry Grayson, Richard Burton (!) and Diana Dors, Kevin Keegan and George Best, John Travolta and Bob Hope, Princess Diana and Prince Charles, and my absolute favourites ... Tom Jones and Shirley Bassey! No, really. It's them!

12 comments:

Persephone said...

Well I got four right, but only because Adam Ant's "Prince Charming" makeup gave him away. My guesses (including the four about which I had no idea): ? - Robert Redford - Adam Ant - Tony Blair - Phil Collins - ? - ? - John Lennon - John Travolta - Sting - Diana - Charles - ? - Judy Garland

We have a Madame Tussaud's in Victoria. From the look of things, it's slightly better than this...

Stevyn Colgan said...

Good guessing Persephone! Louis Tussaud is the great grandson of the rather better Madame Tussaud (of which we have a big one in London. As for the one's you didn't know ... Larry Grayson was a popular and very camp quiz show host in the 1980s, and Kevin Keegan and George Best were football (soccer) stars. The others are internationally famous. Though you wouldn't know it to look at their waxworks, would you?

Stuart Peel said...

Well well well. You may or may not know that I grew up in Great Yarmouth, and me and my friends went many times to the House of Wax on the legendary Regent Road ('road' pronounced 'rood' with the Norfolk accent).

There were in fact two waxworks on the same street, both pretty awful. The bigger one had a pretty cool (by the standards of a ten year old) chamber of horrors, which had a really tasteless waxwork of the Yorkshire Ripper, actually brandishing a screwdriver! I don't know whether you've actually been to these places but yes, the waxworks are often shockingly bad, and the name cards that go with them are essential to identify the celebs.

Gt. Yarmouth is, sadly, a shadow of what it used to be. Last year I walked down Regent Road with a couple of friends from work, just to have a look round. Within minutes we were confronted by a couple of nutters, and surveyed by several other weirdos. None of us felt safe, and we nervously retreated back to the town centre. It was like a scene from 'The Hills Have Eyes'. Very sad.

Stevyn Colgan said...

Stu - I have been to Great Yarmouth and yes, like many of the great seaside towns, it does seem to be pretty run down these days. Such a shame. I didn't actually visit the waxworks - a shame as the Great Yarmouth Tussaud's is apparently the worst - but I have been to the one in Blackpool. It kept me smirking and giggling all day.

Stuart Peel said...

There was another one, at the end of the street, which was even worse if that's possible. But I think it closed down years ago. Either that or the dummies came alive and are currently living in the area. Not too much of a stretch given the current atmosphere down there.

chris hale said...

Not sure whether they're made of wax, but some of the worst mannequins I've ever seen are in the old Bodmin Gaol museum in Cornwall. They are supposed to depict wife-beaters, killers, murderous footpads and (this one's hard to explain to the kids) gentlemen with an unhealthy interest in livestock. The figures have this awful, deformed appearance, as if they were constructed by a modelmaker on the edge. In fact, they were so bad that we had to go and look at them again on a subsequent visit to the Duchy.

Stevyn Colgan said...

Chris - I know them well! They are rivalled only by the dire figures at the London Dungeon (I did a post on that some time ago) and the horrible, horrible figures to be found in the damp chalk caves that once housed the Hellfire Club here in High Wycombe.

Katie said...

holy crap. I only recognized Prince Charles and that was still iffy.

Stevyn Colgan said...

Katie - Holy crap indeed. Aren't you meant to be on a beach somewhere instead of guessing the identity of piss-poor waxworks figures?! I know where I'd rather be.

Katie said...

Unfortunately my beach days are over... Vacations are much too short!

I'm going to have to check out the Dallas Louis Tussaud's Palace of Wax now. However, everywhere I look will either be Britney Spears, Paris Hilton, or George Bush.

Stevyn Colgan said...

Katie - I hope they have good air-con there. I have a friend who lives in Dallas and from the way he's been describing the temperatures over there recently ...

willow said...

I thought the last was Judy Garland, too! Bob Hope? You gotta be kidding. But the scariest was Prince Charles!!