Madame Tussauds removes waxwork of Coronation Street's Ken Barlow following 'inappropriate behaviour'


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The Independent Culture

A waxwork of Coronation Street’s longest-serving character Ken Barlow has been removed from Madame Tussauds in Blackpool after visitors displayed “inappropriate behaviour” towards it.

William Roache, 81, the actor who plays Ken Barlow in the ITV1 soap, was arrested at his home in Wilmslow, Cheshire two weeks ago and charged on two counts of rape involving a 15-year-old girl in the 1960s.

Madame Tussauds said the removal of the waxwork was “temporary” and over fears that it could be damaged.

A statement released by the museum read: "Our figures are chosen because we, and our visitors, believe that they have made a significant impact/contribution to the world around them or in their chosen field - good or bad - or they earn their place through visitor demand, as in this case.”

"We make no judgements on recent events, which are in any case far from clear, but over recent days we have received a number of comments relating to the continued inclusion of the figure, but even more importantly witnessed some unacceptable behaviour from a very small number of visitors."

It added: "We have therefore decided to temporarily remove the figure from display, and we will review this decision in the light of future events."

Roache is the longest-serving cast member on Coronation Street, having appeared in its first episode on 9 December 1960.

The actor released a statement on 2 May in which he "strenuously denied" the historic rape allegations against him.

An ITV spokesman declined to comment but it is understood that Roache will not be appearing in Coronation Street in the immediate future.