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Five things you might not know about Madame Tussauds

A visit to this legendary waxwork hall of fame is probably the closest most of us will ever get to Benedict Cumberbatch or Lady Gaga, but there’s plenty more to discover here alongside the famous faces

By Time Out editors |
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With attractions that constantly evolve to reflect the latest celeb passions, sporting heroes and Hollywood stars, Madame Tussauds is a tourist hotspot. However there’s always plenty of time for visitors to cuddle up to their personal favourites for a selfie, and activities (such as the fashion catwalk, the Spirit of London ride and the 4D movie) keep all ages amused and amazed for hours.

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Five interesting facts about Madame Tussauds

1

Marie Tussaud was a wax sculptor who made a name for herself crafting death masks of famous French figures executed during the Revolution. She came to Britain due to the Napoleonic Wars and quickly got her eye on famous Brits. Her 1803 wax model of George III’s head can still be seen at Kew Palace.

2

Madame Tussauds was originally presented as a series of rooms in the Baker Street Bazaar, just around the corner from its present home on Marylebone Road.

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3

As a child, Arthur Conan Doyle visited Madame Tussauds and became fascinated. It’s believed to be one of the reasons he chose to set the residence of his fictional sleuth Sherlock Holmes in Baker Street.

4

Even before his execution, the notorious murderer Crippen had been immortalised in wax at Madame Tussauds and his figure, standing in the Chamber of Horrors gallery, attracted huge crowds.

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5

Detail really is everything. In the Star Wars gallery, take a close look at the wax figure of Mark Hamill as Luke Skywalker, battling lightsabers with Darth Vader in a scene from ‘Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back’. The figure’s face has the scar he acquired in a car accident after ‘Star Wars: A New Hope’ was released.

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