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What would Elizabeth Bennet think?
A 12-foot fiberglass statue of Colin Firth has been erected in the Serpentine, a lake in Hyde Park, London, to mark the launch of UKTV’s new channel, Drama.
The sculpture is meant to pay tribute to the BBC’s beloved 1995 adaptation of Jane Austen‘s Pride and Prejudice, which stars Firth as Mr. Darcy and Jennifer Ehle as Elizabeth. In the miniseries, Firth has a scene in which he emerges dripping wet in a shirt after a spontaneous swim at his estate.
The scene was chosen after U.K. television viewers voted it the most memorable moment in a British TV drama in a recent survey.
The sculpture will remain in the lake for several days before embarking on a tour around the U.K. It will make its final, permanent stop in Lyme Park, Cheshire, where the scene was filmed, according to the U.K.’s Guardian newspaper.
Drama network general manager Adrian Wills told the paper that it took three men more than two months to construct the statue, which stands as tall as a double-decker bus.
“We’re very pleased with his appearance,” Wills said, adding: “We’ve got a wet shirt on him, we’ve got sideburns. He’s portraying many of the Darcys that have appeared over the years in film and TV adaptations.”
As for the erecting of the statue in the middle of the lake, there were a couple of “touch and go” moments, but it went up as planned, said Toby Crowther, production designer/sculptor.
The lake is a popular spot for such recreational activities as swimming and rowing. Said one swimmer surprised by Mr. Darcy’s looming presence: “It makes swimming a bit more interesting, and I think the swans like it.”
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