Bollywood star unveiled at Madame Tussauds

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Bollywood actor Shah Rukh Khan being measured up by Madame Tussauds artists

A wax figure of Bollywood star Shah Rukh Khan has been unveiled at London’s Madame Tussauds. The likeness of Khan, widely known as 'King Khan', has today become the third official figure of a Bollywood celebrity to grace the attraction.

Khan, star of over 50 films, specially flew to London to unveil his wax figure at the prestigious venue, with a special documentary on the actor's movie career showcased on the day. The lifesize model was uncloaked to applause and cheers from the crowd.

Artists from Madame Tussauds had spent time in India earlier this year in order to obtain precise measurements of the film star's physical features, face and hair.

Speaking of the privilege, Khan said, "It has been a lifelong dream since I visited the attraction as a child to be immortalised in wax and meet my very own Madame Tussauds double.

"This is truly a great honour; I was delighted to be involved in the whole creative process."

The actor met with special guests before spending time with British fans. He also met winners of competitions organised by the BBC Asian Network and Ikonz. Britain is believed to be home to one of Bollywood's largest fan bases within Europe.

Reena Combo, editor of British Asian magazine Ikonz was at the event. She explained, "For most British Asians, Shah Rukh Khan is the equivalent to Hollywood's Brad Pitt. He is one of the biggest stars in the world and the new wax figure in Madame Tussauds will help in further introducing him to those who may still be unaware of his popularity."

Khan, 41, has in the past been described by TIME magazine as "the most recognisable actor in the world with an audience of 3.6 billion", while The Guardian once referred to him as 'the world's biggest film star'.

"The unveiling here in London has been long overdue but fans of Bollywood, especially those in the UK, will be extremely grateful to Madame Tussauds' for the opportunity to meet the real Shah Rukh Khan and his artificial 'twin'," added Ms Combo.

Other Bollywood luminaries represented at the attraction include Amitabh Bachchan and Aishwarya Rai. Khan's wax figure is among the only 15 new figures created this year. Madame Tussauds said they did not currently have any plans to create a figure of Shilpa Shetty, the Bollywood actress who recently won Celebrity Big Brother, but they hadn't ruled anything out.

Spokesperson for the attraction, Ben Lovett, stated, "We only launch 8 figures per year, and each takes a number of months to make, so it’s vital that we regularly ask guests who they want to see in the attraction. Madame Tussauds London has commitments until early 2008, which means Shah Rukh Khan will be the only Bollywood figure for this year.

"In terms of Shilpa Shetty, we have been asked but at present we have no plans to make her."