A waxwork of Coronation Street’s Ken Barlow is to be put back on display at Madame Tussauds in Blackpool after actor William Roache was cleared of sex charges.
The £150,000 figure was removed in May last year after it was attacked by vandals and used to take inappropriate photographs following the star’s arrest.
Mr Roache had been charged with two rapes and five indecent assault charges relating to alleged incidents involving girls aged under 16 more than 40 years ago in Haslingden and at Granada Studios in Manchester.
A number of visitors to Madame Tussauds had complained the waxwork should be taken down from the bar of the mocked-up Rovers Return pub, which is part of the Promenade attraction’s Coronation Street display.
But having been taken down from the bar, waxwork Ken did not leave the building.
And he will now be removed from storage to take pride of place again opposite screen wife Deirdre after jurors at Preston Crown Court yesterday found Mr Roache, 81, not guilty of all the allegations.
Following the court hearings, Madame Tussauds said the waxwork would be re-instated on February 15.
But first, Ken must receive a makeover to ready him for his return to the public eye.
The attraction’s studio team will re-paint him, dry clean and press his clothes, wash and blow-dry his hair, fit new eyelashes and replace eyebrow hairs.
Cassie Forshaw, from Madame Tussauds said: “We made the decision to temporarily remove the figure from the display after receiving a number of comments from the public and following some unacceptable behaviour from a small number of visitors.
“We did not condone this but our objective was to ensure people had an enjoyable visit.
“It was always our intention to review the decision in light of future developments and we will therefore be re-instating the figure.”
‘We respect jury verdict’
Mr Roache, who lives in Wilmslow, has played Ken Barlow on Coronation Street since 1960 and is world’s longest serving soap actor.
Following the verdict, a Lancashire Police spokesman said: “The jury has had an opportunity over the course of the trial to hear and fully consider the evidence presented by both the prosecution and the defence. We entirely respect the verdict reached by the jury today; the burden of proof in our system is quite rightly very high and we thank them for considering this matter so carefully.
“The Constabulary remain committed to investigating allegations of this nature, no matter how historic.”
Read how The Gazette reported the waxwork’s removal: KEN BARLOW WAXWORK REMOVED AFTER IT WAS ATTACKED