LADIES AND GENTLEMEN, BOYS AND GIRLS... welcome to the big top blog of Douglas McPherson, author of CIRCUS MANIA, the book described by Gerry Cottle as "A passionate and up-to-date look at the circus and its people."

Friday, 13 September 2013

Wow! Circus legend Gerry Cottle returns to London

Thrills and hopefully no spills
on the Wheel of Death
in Gerry Cottle's new show

The big news for London’s circus fans is that the biggest name in the big top is back in town. Celebrating his 50 years in the circus with a fast-moving show that crams 50 acts into 100 minutes, Gerry Cottle is bringing his Wow! show to a series of London parks, following a successful run in the South West last year.

It was in London, a city that no circus had played for years, that Cottle made his name by drawing huge crowds in the 70s. He went on to national fame with Seaside Special, a prime time variety show broadcast each Saturday evening from his big top.

Later, Cottle was the guiding force behind the enormous UK success of the Chinese State Circus, Moscow State Circus and Circus of Horrors. A decade ago, he retired from the road to revive the Wookey Hole Caves as one of the south west’s most colourful tourist attractions.

Bippo and friends wow the crowd
But, to steal a line from Cecil B. DeMille’s film The Greatest Show on Earth, you can shake the sawdust off your shoes but you can’t shake it out of your heart. Before long, Gerry had established a thriving circus school at Wookey Hole.

Some of its graduates are among the cast of Wow!, performing on roller skates and unicycles, alongside colourful Kenyan acrobatics, high-altitude thrills on the Wheel of Death and the comedy and magic of Bippo the Clown.

Catch a video trailer for the show at, and book your ticket to be wowed.

Currently at Hackney Downs, Sept 19 - 22
Gerry Cottle’s Wow! Show will be moving on to:
Alexandra Palace, Sept 26 - Oct 6
Harpenden Common, Oct 8 - 13
Clapham Common, Oct 23 - Nov 3

For times and bookings, go to


Gerry Cottle (L) joins
author Douglas McPherson
and Dr Haze
from the Circus of Horrors
at the launch of
Circus Mania
For the full story of Gerry Cottle’s life in the circus, not to mention the story of Bippo the clown, the Circus of Horrors, the Chinese State Circus and a whole host of circus performers from trapeze flyers to tiger trainers, read Circus Mania by Douglas McPherson, a book which Gerry Cottle himself called “A passionate and up-to-date look at the circus and its people,” and which the Mail on Sunday described as “A brilliant account of a vanishing art form.”
Circus Mania retails at £14.99, but you can save £5 by ordering direct from Peter Owen Publishers at the Special Offer price of just £10 postage-free in the UK.
Send cheques to:
Peter Owen Publishers
81 Ridge Road
London N8 9NP

Tel. 020 8350 1775

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