Scaring people is not funny - professional clowns respond to King’s Lynn clown pranksters

Children's entertainer Sally Beadle. Picture: Ian Burt Children's entertainer Sally Beadle. Picture: Ian Burt

Tuesday, December 3, 2013
12:31 PM

They are just trying to make an honest living as children’s entertainers.

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Yet Norfolk’s professional clowns fear their good reputation is being tainted by pranksters who dress up in clown costumes to frighten passers-by in the dark.

Police released a warning after reports of people in masks, suits and wigs chasing startled residents down the street.

Now innocent professional entertainers touring children’s parties say they are being asked whether they are responsible for the pranks – and believe their years of hard work encouraging people to trust clowns is being undone.

Sally Beadle, also known as Crazy Bananas the Clown, is so concerned she is considering contacting Norfolk police to organise an outside event in King’s Lynn – to show people they have nothing to fear from true professionals.

“We don’t want people to be scared of clowns,” she said. “Clowns are just people who like to have fun. It’s quite worrying to think that if I do outside events, people might think I’m part of this.

“I’m wondering whether it is worth my while going through The Walks in my clown costume offering lollipops to children to try and undo some of the damage.

“Not all clowns are scary people. It would be nice to fight back for clowns. I believe we are good at what we do and I don’t want our livelihoods to be harmed because of kids trying to get a reaction.

Most people who have met me know I’m the least scary clown ever. However, people who are thinking of hiring a clown might think twice about it.

“Someone is getting a big buzz out of this. They are playing on people’s fears about clowns. I think it is kids but I don’t think they’ve thought about what they are doing. It is just about getting noticed.

“I think it’s ridiculous and sad that they have got nothing better to do.”

Rusty Russell, who has taken Rusty’s International Circus around Norfolk for the past seven years, added: “We work so hard to alleviate kids’ fears of clowns.

“When someone comes and does something like that, it ruins all our good work.

“It is just mindless. They haven’t put any thought into the fact that they might be jeopardising people’s careers.”

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