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."

Tuesday, 29 April 2014

Marilyn Monroe in the circus ring

What a beautiful creature!
Oh, and that's Marilyn Monroe riding it...

Following my recent post about Elton John and Rod Stewart visiting Billy Smart Jr in the 70s (click here to read it), I couldn't resist borrowing this picture of Marilyn Monroe on a Ringling Brothers elephant in 1955 from America's most penetrating circus blog Showbiz David.

Princess Margaret escorted to Gerry Cottle's Circus
by big cat trainer Martin Lacey
in the days when circus animals had royal approval.
Showbiz mourns the days when celebrities endorsed the circus with their presence and speculates on the boost the big top would be given if Prince William and Kate took the future King George to a circus. The eyes of the world would be upon them, as it was in the days when Princess Margaret visited Gerry Cottle's circus, right.

But have any of today's showmen had the savvy to invite Wills and Kate to an opening night?

Gerry Cottle was perhaps the last British showman to use celebrities to put his circus in the media spotlight. As well as providing the big top for Saturday evening TV show Seaside Special in the 80s, he employed celebrity ringmasters such as then TV favourite Jeremy Beadle.

Cirque du Soleil hardly need the publicity, but their final UK performances of Dralion this summer would surely be a safe, politically correct bet for the young royal couple to attend. But wouldn't it be great to see Wills and Kate posing with the horses at Zippos or the big cats of Peter Jolly's Circus?

Princess Kate has been applauded by the media for supporting British fashion designers. So why not a great British tradition like the circus, which began here nearly 250 years ago and which grew to spread across the globe as one of our most enduring cultural exports?

Circus bosses - send out those royal invites! Maybe you could follow in the  sawdust footsteps of Pinders Circus, which became Pinders Royal Circus after performing three times before Queen Victoria at Balmoral Castle.

Princes Stephanie
Royal patron
Failing that, perhaps circus patron Princess Stephanie could invite the the royal couple to the next Monte Carlo Circus Festival in January 2015.

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