By Meredith Blake
1:20 PM CDT, July 9, 2013
As if the opportunity to watch “Downton Abbey” three months before everyone in America weren’t enough, here’s yet another reason to move to England: An enormous statue depicting Colin Firth as a dripping wet Mr. Darcy in the 1995 BBC miniseries “Pride and Prejudice” has been installed in the Serpentine lake in London’s Hyde Park.
While Jane Austen would likely blush at the sight of a 12-foot statue of her most enduring romantic hero wearing a clingy, soaking wet white shirt -- especially since the scene in question never took place in her novel -- fans of the blockbuster miniseries are nevertheless thrilled. Or, uh, that’s what we’re hearing.
The statue, which took three men two months to complete, was commissioned as a promotional gag for the launch of a new TV channel, UKTV’s Drama, following a survey in which viewers named Mr. Darcy’s delightfully awkward, post-swim run-in with the feisty Elizabeth Bennet as TV’s most memorable dramatic moment.
For those of you poor, deprived souls who have no idea what these Brits are banging on about, the BBC has kindly made the entire sequence available on YouTube, where it’s got more than 3 million hits. (Go ahead, watch it. We'll wait.)
“We’re really pleased with his appearance. We’ve got a wet shirt on him, he’s got sideburns,” said Adrian Wills, general manager of UKTV channel drama, sounding more than a little uncomfortable in the above video from the Guardian.
Mr. Darcy will spend a week in London, before embarking on a tour of the U.K., with a stop in Scarborough (where he will “emerge out of the sea,” according to Wills) before returning to his rightful home at Lyme Park, a.k.a. Pemberley.
Alas, there are no plans as of yet to bring Mr. Darcy stateside, but perhaps some enterprising “Pride and Prejudice” fans will start a petition. Hint, hint.
Copyright © 2013, Los Angeles Times