APPARENTLY the most-snogged waxwork in Madame Tussaud’s at the moment is Robert Pattinson.

If you’re thinking “who’s he?” then a) you’re not a teenager and b) you probably don’t have a teenage daughter.

If you’re thinking “Phwoarr, no surprise there, mate” you are likely a teenage girl and, along with most of your peers, madly in love with Pattison, or rather with his character, the ethereally handsome and darkly brooding vampire, Edward Cullen, star of the massive phenomenon that is the Twilight movie franchise.

Pattison, 24, may be just a boy from Barnes, yet he is officially referred to as R-Patz, in the style of J-Lo and Li-Lo, by an obsessed global media and he is currently regarded (by business magazine Forbes, no less) as being a bigger player in Hollywood than the likes of Tom Cruise, George Clooney, Robert Downey Jr and Leonardo Di Caprio.

This stratospheric climb up the fickle ladder of success – top US entertainment show E!Entertaiment described him and his co-star and real-life girlfriend Kirsten Stewart, as the “biggest, most discussed, most downloaded, most watched young actors in the world” – all boils down to one thing, the staggering popularity of the Twilight series, which earned Pattison a tidy £11 million last year alone. So what makes it so popular? Why is Twilight, which although essentially all about vampires, is actually just a surprisingly innocent tale of young love and angst, so big?

Vampires are nothing new. Throughout history there have been dark, folkloric tales of strange, often sensually alluring, blood-sucking creatures preying on the heaving bosoms of innocent virgins, but it was Bram Stoker’s classic 1897 gothic horror novel Dracula, the story of an enigmatic, caped, bat-morphing lord of the undead, that triggered a revival and renewed hunger for bodice-ripping neck nibblers.

Years later, Twilight has done much the same thing, but in a more savvy, sophisticated way, inspiring a slew of vampire-themed TV shows, books and films.

So, all those people queuing up to plant a smacker on the wax version of Robert Pattinson is no big surprise, what is far more shocking to me is that coming close on his heels at number four in the most kissed effigies is Boris Johnson. . . now that’s scary!