There’s only one way to really know you’ve made it as a celebrity – and that’s to be immortalised in wax. Once you’ve been installed into the hallowed halls of the 200-year old Madame Tussauds, you can be sure the public adore you... at least while you remain on display.
Madame Tussauds is one of the UK’s most loved and enduring visitor attractions and has always been a barometer of popularity. Welcoming in over 2.5 million guests a year, this global entertainment behemoth, with 23 attractions in 12 different countries, allows ordinary people to get up close and personal with their idols.
But deciding who the public most want to get close to and bringing them to life in exquisite wax detail isn’t easy - and the stakes are high. Get it right and fans will flock to the figures, get it wrong and hundreds of thousands of pounds and hours of skilled craftsmanship will be wasted.
These decisions and their execution are at the heart of Madame Tussauds’ continued success. Now, for the first time in its long history, the business opens its doors for ITV viewers to reveal exactly what goes into working out who’s hot and who’s not.
Filmed across a year at Madame Tussauds’ London and Blackpool locations, we follow the creation and launch of new wax figures for pop sensation, Little Mix, and YouTube superstar DanTDM.
We find out about the real ‘virgin’ human hair that’s used to create Jade Thirwall’s figure, with each hair individually inserted over a five-week period. We see how an exact replica of DanTDM’s gaming room is created as a home for his wax doppelganger – and how Dan reacts to meeting his twin for the first time.
For those celebrities lucky enough to stay relevant and to avoid ‘retirement’, keeping the figures up-to-date requires regular visits from the real life stars. We’re there as Olly Murs and Craig Revel Horwood are invited in to the studio for a refresh and find out what it means to them to remain part of the attraction (according to Craig, ‘it’s like being knighted’).
And we’re there for a secret after hours visit from Liverpool star, Mo Salah, who comes to the London attraction straight from scoring in a Premier League match to meet his match.
With such a long history, the famous London attraction is a treasure trove of original artefacts – from the original guillotine that beheaded Marie Antoinette, to Dr Crippen’s glasses, to Elton John’s jumpsuit. And looking to the future, we get an insight into how this iconic institution is reinventing itself, using advanced data analytics to work out which celebrities will stay the course and are worth investing in… to keep us coming back for more.