Emerging from the water in a soaked white shirt, the figure of Mr Darcy is meant to evoke one Britain’s most memorable TV moments – recreating a scene from the 1995 BBC television adaptation of the famous Austen novel.
Fans will surely recognise the statue’s male muse – Colin Firth, whose portrayal of Mr Darcy is arguably the most well known.
Placed among the swans and swimmers of the Hyde Park lake, the statue was commissioned to help promote Drama – a new UKTV television channel dedicated to British programs.
The almost four-metre long fibreglass statue – which stands as tall as a double-decker bus – took three sculptors more than two months to construct, according to a UKTV spokesperson.
The decision to immortalise Firth’s Mr Darcy moment came after the channel surveyed more than 2,000 of their viewers on their most memorable TV scene in a British drama.
The soaked-shirt scene catapulted Firth to a global sex symbol and even served as the inspiration for other film adaptations, when the actor was chosen to portray author Helen Fielding’s modern interpretation of Austen’s Mr Darcy for the hit Bridget Jones films.
Installed in the lake yesterday, Mr Darcy will do the rounds, going on display at several other water-based locations before taking up home in a lake in Lyme Park, northwest England where the original infamous water scene was filmed.
For now, the confrontational depiction has caused quite a stir already. Runners have been spotted diverting from their regular path to get a closer look at the figure and even the swans have been reportedly a bit curious about their new neighbour.
“Dashing Darcy” will remain at the Lyme Park till February next year – much to the delight of women everyone, we’re sure.