Hi Mr Punch,
I'm not entirely clear about how you intend to 'use' these people (apart from statues of them falling on other people). Let's deal with real people, both living and dead first, then fictional characters.
Real people. In most cases we in the UK are really only concerned with the rights of living people, such as privacy rights, defamation, passing-off etc. So if you named one of your characters Boris Johnson, you would need to ensure that you did not defame the real Boris by libelling or slandering him, or by intruding in unjustifiable way into his private life. However given Mr Johnson's public role you would be able to get away with a great deal more satirical material about him than, say, your next door neighbour (assuming Boris doesn't live next door of course). You can quote Boris and to a certain extent you can misquote him (due to the fair dealing exception for parody); you should avoid appearing to have him endorse a commercial product unless this is obviously satirical, as this might lead to a claim of passing off (see the Eddie Irvine
case). However none of this applies to dead people. The dead can't be defamed, and their personal data is no longer protected. The only thing which remains protected (in the UK*) is anything which they wrote or composed during their lifetime and which is still in copyright.
Fictional characters. Here we are more properly in the realm of copyright since fictional characters are created by human authors and so, provided that their characteristics are sufficiently original, such characters will be protected to a degree for the normal copyright period (the author's lifetime plus 70 years). Thus quoting Del Boy at very great length might exceed the fair dealing exception for quotation and so amount to infringement of John Sullivan's
copyright. If your Del Boy statue evoked enough of the Del Boy character as written by Mr Sullivan, that might infringe, but it could well be that the parody exception would protect you, even if the staute said nothing. The degree to which non-speech charatcteristics are protected is something of a grey area: clearly some will originate from the pen of the writer, but many others will be down to the performance or physical appearance of the actor.The yardstick by which to judge these things is usually the 'fair' bit of fair dealing. What would a reasonable person say was fair or unfair in the circumstances? On the other hand you can't defame a fictional person, nor can you invade their privacy by anything you, or they, say or do. And the law in UK does not recognise an association between a fictional character and the actor who plays that character. Thus if 'your' Basil Fawlty is made to say something outrageous about the Germans and World War II, John Cleese has no grounds for bringing a complaint. This doctrine does not always apply in the USA (see this case
I hope this answers your question.
* In some States of the USA and a number of other countries, some so-called publicity rights
continue to exist for up to 70 years after a celebrity's death. And in some countries such as France an author's moral rights (eg the right not to have their work or honour treated in derogatory way) exist in perpetuity.