Gareth Ellis didn't just run away to join the circus - his parents did, too. Realising how much their son wanted to be a clown, his mum became the showman's secretary, his dad became a handyman and the trio moved into their holiday caravan to join Zippos circus.
Today better known to one and all as Bippo, Gareth is one of the stars of Gerry Cottle's new big top show, Wow!, which is celebrating Cottle's 50 years in the big top with a tour of London's parks from now until November 3. For details of venues click here.
Bippo is also one of the stars of Circus Mania - The Ultimate Book For Anyone Who Dreamed of Running Away with the Circus by Douglas McPherson, which the Mail on Sunday described as "A brilliant account of a vanishing art form." Buy it and read:
|Bippo, right, and juggler Ben Coles|
are presenting 50 acts in 100 minutes
in Gerry Cottle's new show, Wow!
- His account of putting up the big top and his everyday life in the circus.
- Bippo's guide to the centuries-old secret language of the circus.
- The secrets of how clowns choose the volunteers for their acts even before the audience has taken its seats.
All this plus the history of clowning, insider accounts of animal training, the story of the circus in Britain, America, Russia and China, and in-depth interviews with a host of colourful circus characters including Gerry Cottle himself.
|Circus Mania - Clowns love it!|
Peter Owen Publishing
81 Ridge Road
London N8 9NP
Tel: 020 8350 1775