Jane Austen's iconic romantic hero Mr Darcy emerges from The Serpentine in London’s Hyde Park today. The giant statue pays homage to the dramatic scene that set viewers' hearts racing and was named the most memorable British TV drama moment of all time in a recent survey.
The sculpture, which was specially commissioned to celebrate the launch of UKTV's new TV channel Drama, caused a stir amongst passers-by this morning as well as local ducks. The installation of Mr Darcy in The Serpentine marks the iconic scene from the 1995 TV adaptation of Jane Austen's acclaimed 19th Century novel Pride and Prejudice, which was published 200 years ago in 1813.
The model, which is made from fibre-glass, took a team of three sculptors over two months to design, construct and paint. The giant sculpture of Mr Darcy’s head and torso measures 12 feet, equivalent to the height of a double decker bus.
Lead sculptor Toby Crowther said:
We took Colin Firth’s famous lake scene as a starting point for creating Mr Darcy but we also read the book and looked at performances of the brooding hero by Matthew Macfadyen, David Rintoul and even Laurence Olivier.
The homage to Mr Darcy is set to embark on a short regional tour, taking in Scarborough beach, before it is installed at Lyme Park in Cheshire, where the now infamous scene from the BBC drama was first filmed. It will remain in place in the lake at Lyme Park until February 2014.