Boris Johnson's Waxwork Makes A Triumphant Return At Madame Tussauds... But Does It Actually Belong There?

Will Noble
By Will Noble Last edited 30 months ago
Boris Johnson's Waxwork Makes A Triumphant Return At Madame Tussauds... But Does It Actually Belong There?
Two Boris Johnsons are ominously watched by Vladimir Putin in 2009. Image: Madame Tussauds

Boris Johnson must be cock-a-hoop right now. Not only has he just achieved his lifetime ambition of becoming PM, but he's got 10 years younger.

Let us explain: in 2009, in his first term as Mayor of London, Johnson attended the unveiling of his waxwork at Madame Tussauds. He'd sat twice for the wax artists and even donated the figure's navy suit, shirt and tie. (Who says this man isn't dedicated to the cause?)

In typical Johnson style, he quipped "It is an honour, but I hope not alarming for Londoners to know that there are now two of me in this great city of London."

Who said Boris Johnson only cares about himself? Image: Madame Tussauds

Since then, Wax Johnson has to-and-froed between Madame Tussauds' world stage and ignominious relegation to its dreaded archives (i.e. a dungeon for has-beens). It's been an echo of the real man's political ups and downs.

Yet for someone who wasn't PM until very recently, Johnson's figure spent a hell of a lot of time lingering out the front of the No. 10 mock-up. Presumably because most tourists thought he was a blundering British character devised by Richard Curtis and Rowan Atkinson, and wanted to pose with him.

In Christmas 2017, Theresa May's waxwork was even forced to share an oversize festive jumper with Johnson's — a stunt that must have made both of the real politicians' skin crawl.

The waxwork Johnson has often stood outside Madame Tussauds' '10 Downing Street', despite him not being PM. Image: Shutterstock

Now that Johnson is full-blown PM, May's statue has been thrust into the inky netherworld of the archive, and replaced with 2009 Boris Johnson. You might argue that at least Johnson actually belongs here now, but that's not strictly true.

Madame Tussauds doesn't create new figures of British prime ministers unless they have been voted in by general election. Could Johnson Mark II, then, be an opportune benefactor — in the right place at the right time, rather than in the privileged position he deserves to be? Bear in mind there was no Theresa May at Tussauds until she was (sort of) voted in, in 2017.

Anyway, the waxwork Johnson looks pretty rakish compared to 2019's flesh counterpart.

One Direction - the Boris Johnsons of the pop industry. Image: Shutterstock

This triumphant Tussauds comeback is apparently one matched only by One Direction. They originally appeared at Madame Tussauds London for a limited run in spring 2013, before embarking on a world tour of other Madame Tussauds sites. Meanwhile, the wax boys were missed so much on home soil, a new set of figures was created.

No waxwork of the incumbent Mayor of London Sadiq Khan appears at Madame Tussauds.

Last Updated 26 July 2019