Ken waxwork is taken off display

William Roache.
William Roache.

A waxwork of Ken Barlow has been removed from display for its own safety after being attacked.

The celebrity figurine used to sit in a mock-up of the Rovers Return opposite his on-screen, on-off wife Deirdre.

But she now drinks alone after bosses at Louis Tussauds in Blackpool removed its Ken Barlow figure following a number of attacks and ‘inappropriate pictures’.

Ilkeston-born actor William Roache, who has played Ken Barlow in the soap since 1960, was recently charged with two counts of raping a 15-year-old girl 46 years ago.

The 81-year-old has vowed to fight the claims but ITV bosses have axed him from the soap until any trial ends.

Now his waxwork dummy has been put into storage pending the outcome of any future trial.

Tussauds bosses were keen to stress they were not in the business of making moral judgements and that the waxwork was of the fictional character Ken Barlow rather than the actor William Roache.

But a spokesman said the waxwork had to be removed for its own safety as they cost £150,000 each.

He added: “We have had people taking inappropriate pictures and some people saying they think the model should not be there, and we always listen to our 
customers.

“Under the British justice system people are innocent until proven guilty but we had to remove the figure so it did not get damaged.

“It was a hard decision for us because he is a character at a moment in time and not the real person but the British public doesn’t always make that distinction and we couldn’t risk any further attacks.”

Roache, was taken into custody following a breakfast-time raid at his home in Wilmslow, Cheshire.

The twice-married star, is the world’s longest serving soap actor.

Roache, who was appointed an MBE for services to TV drama, will not feature in the soap pending the outcome of the investigation.

He is currently on bail and was due to appear at Preston magistrates’ court on Tuesday May 14.