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Thursday, 23 March, 2000, 15:43 GMT
Bollywood's wax dreams

Madame Tussaud's creates only 15 new figures each year
By the BBC's Tanuja Solanki

One of the world's most famous waxwork museums, Madame Tussauds of London, is to create its first ever Indian film figure in wax.

The move comes after hundreds of comments from visitors requesting that stars from the world's most prolific film industry be portrayed.

Madame Tussauds in London receives over two and a half million visitors each year.

We've had so many people ringing us up saying this is great

Diane Moon, Madame Tussauds
They come to view a variety of international figures from the world of politics, films, entertainment and sport.

Regular features at the museum have been the political figures from South Asia, including wax-works of Jawaharlal Nehru, Indira Gandhi, Rajiv Gandhi and Benazir Bhutto.

But despite South Asia having the world's biggest film industry - Bollywood, there are no wax-works of South Asian actors or actresses.

Popular demand

During the past year, Madame Tussauds has had numerous requests to address the issue.

Due to the popular demand the museum, which only creates 15 new figures each year, has decided to include a Bollywood figure for it's Hall of Fame.

Actress Aishwarya Rai is among the favourites
"The reaction has just been fantastic. We've had so many people ringing us up saying this is great, now you've got to decide who the star is going to be," said Diane Moon is a member of the Museum's Selection Committee.

She said there would only be one figure for the moment, a difficult task given the number of stars.

"What we are going to do is draw up a shortlist and then actually ask the public to vote for the one they think most deserves a place in Madame Tussauds," Ms Moon said.


Visitors will be able to choose their favourite Bollywood star by writing in to the museum or voting on its website.

Some of the favourites which have been put forward include the veteran actor Amitabh Bachchan, romantic hero Anil Kapoor, and the latest teenage heart-throb Shah Rukh Khan.

Among the women, the most requested name for the shortlist is the former Miss World, Ashwariya Rai, who is fast becoming one of Bollywood's most popular actresses.

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07 Mar 00 | South Asia
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