Wallace and Gromit: Comedy duo set for Preston statueon June 5, 2021 at 6:27 am

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The much-loved animated characters will be cast in bronze in their creator’s birthplace of Preston.

Wallace and Gromit bench

image copyrightFreshfield PR

Wallace and Gromit are set to have their own “cracking” statue in animator Nick Park’s home of Preston.

The comedy duo will be sculpted in a bid to draw more visitors to the Lancashire city as Covid rules ease.

Four-time Oscar winner Mr Park said: “It is such a great honour for me, as a proud Prestonian, to see my characters Wallace and Gromit cast in bronze and given pride of place in my hometown.”

The statue will be installed in August if plans are approved.

Inspired by scenes from The Wrong Trousers film, it features the pair next to a bench and will go up outside Preston Markets.

It was designed by Mr Park and Bristol’s Aardman studios with Preston sculptor Peter Hodgkinson, who has previously made statues of the city’s late football legend Sir Tom Finney and artist LS Lowry.

Peter Sallis and Nick Park with cake featuring Wallace and Gromit

image copyrightPA Media

The piece, which is being made at the Castle Fine Arts Foundry in Wales, will be funded from the government’s £3.6 billion towns fund.

Preston received £20.9m for developments across the city centre.

John Chesworth, chairman of the Preston Towns Fund Board, said: “Nick is one of our most famous living Prestonians and it’s great that we can celebrate his achievements with this new sculpture.”

He said the project had the potential to attract visitors “from Preston and beyond”.

Harris Museum and Art Gallery

image copyrightDavid Dixon/Geograph

The Wallace and Gromit franchise has won three Oscars for The Wrong Trousers, A Close Shave and The Curse of the Were-Rabbit.

Their later TV outing A Matter of Loaf and Death drew 14.4m viewers on Christmas Day in 2008, making it the most-watched programme that year.

Mr Park won his first Academy Award for Creature Comforts.

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