YOU know you’re famous when you get your own waxwork at Madame Tussaud’s.
But Coleford’s Olly Alexander was still blown away to learn he was getting the honour, with the official public unveiling this Friday (October 20).
Olly, who attended Monmouth Comprehensive School before finding pop fame with Years and Years and TV fame with It’s A Sin, said: “I’m completely overwhelmed and honestly in shock and disbelief to think I’ve been made into a figure for the iconic Madame Tussauds London. My brain simply cannot process it.
The wax model of the “Sweet Talker” singer will stand alongside a legion of other gay music icons at the London tourist attraction, including Queen’s Freddie Mercury, “Flowers” superstar Miley Cyrus, and Ziggy Stardust himself, David Bowie.
Despite two No 1 albums (2015’s Communion and 2022’s Night Call) and being nominated for a ‘Best Actor’ BAFTA for his role as Ritchie Tozer in Russell T Davies’ groundbreaking drama It’s A Sin, the 33-year-old was still “Starstruck” after learning that he’d earned a place in London’s wax hall of fame.
Madame Tussaud’s and Olly, who caught the performing bug starring in Monmouth Comprehensive productions of Guys and Dolls and The Caucasian Chalk Circle, have shared footage on social media of him posing for the waxwork, having his head and teeth measured, and his eyeballs checked to ensure they match the fake ones used on the model.
And with the first public viewing this Friday, he added: “Getting to be involved in the process was so cool and I feel very honoured to have been so lovingly sculpted into such a gorgeous figure.”
Madame Tussauds’ general manager, Tim Waters, said it was Olly’s influence as an LGBTQ+ superstar that led to the decision to immortalise him at the attraction, where the model will stand alongside the likes of Beyonce, Drake, Lil Nas X and Harry Styles.
“He’s transforming the music landscape for artists and fans alike and his powerful role in It’s A Sin has left a real legacy of positive change for the LGBTQ+ community and beyond,” he posted.
Madame Tussaud’s added: “We had the pleasure of welcoming the superstar himself to a sitting with our wonderfully talented team of studio artists.
“Our team of artists meticulously took Olly’s measurements from his hair colour, eye colour, measured his facial features, and took plenty of reference photos.
“Throughout the whole process of creating a new celebrity figure our incredible studio team truly go the extra mile to capture the individual’s personality.
“From the glimmer in their eyes to the sparkle in their smile, our team work their magic to give each figure a real presence when you meet them.
Olly was encouraged to sing and act by former professional singer mum Vicky Thornton, a co-founder of the Coleford Musical Festival, and grabbed the chance to act in school productions.
His professional career began as a teenager in the film Summerhill released in 2008, and his next film Bright Star was nominated for an Academy Award.
His next big acting break came in 2013, when he starred alongside Ben Whishaw and Judi Dench in the West End play Peter and Alice.
Then Years and Years took the pop world by storm in 2015 with No 1 single King and chart-topping album Communion, before playing the Glastonbury Festival in 2019, where Olly’s call for equality and gay rights was widely praised.
And in 2021, he won plaudits for his portrayal of a gay teenager in the five-part Aids-era Channel 4 drama It’s A Sin, with Top Gun superstar Tom Cruise congratulating him for the performance on The Graham Norton Show.
Having found fame, he also returned to Monmouth Comprehensive School while making his critically acclaimed Growing Up Gay documentary for BBC3, which also featured his mum, who has also shared the Celebrity Gogglebox sofa with him.
Singing-wise his career has also included duetting with the likes of Elton John and Kylie Minogue.