Life's a laugh for circus man

Even when he was just four years old, Chris Freear had a burning desire to run away with the circus and become a clown.

Even when he was just four years old, Chris Freear had a burning desire to run away with the circus and become a clown.

He would sneak out from his mother's home in King's Lynn to watch the circus folk set up their tent in a field nearby and lend a hand to the performers.

By the age 12 he was starting to spend some of his summer holidays travelling away with a small family circus.

So there was no surprise that when he finished school he decided to run away with the circus for good.

Now years later he is living his dream and is performing as a clown with Paulo's Circus and travelling the country for 42 weeks of the year.

But now, 15 years since he left, he has returned to King's Lynn, where he will be performing in front of his home crowd for the very first time.

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For his mum Shirley, 60, of Lynn Road, it is a welcome return for her son, who has only made fleeting visits back to the town, since departing for the big top.

Mr Freear, 30, said: “I guess I just always had sawdust in my blood.

“I was interested in the circus from the age of four and as I got older I would always go and help them out during the Easter and summer holidays.

“I hated school and was never interested in it. I was always the class clown I just wanted to leave and join the circus.”

His mum persuaded him to enrol in a car mechanic course after he finished school, but after two weeks he packed it in and signed up for a life on the road with the circus.

It is a decision he has never regretted, although he said life in the circus had become tougher, because of entertainment licence fees and the fact people preferred to stay in and watch the TV.

He is back in Lynn for just a few nights and he said this was going to be one of his most memorable and perhaps nerve-wracking performances.

He added: “I love being a clown, and I love making people laugh. I enjoy the travelling and moving from town to town. I could never live in a house and work nine to five, it's just not me.”

Mrs Freear, added: “He always had an interest in clowns and would collect ornaments and pictures as a boy.

“He was always the class clown, and I was not surprised at all when he said he would be leaving for the circus, But I do miss him.”

Paulo's Circus is on land just opposite the Knight's Hill Hotel, there is an array of performances from daredevil trapeze artists, a wheel of death, Spiderman, jugglers, magic and even pirates.

It opens tomorrow at 7pm, Thursday and Friday 5pm and 7.30pm, Saturday 2pm and 6pm and Sunday 2pm.

Box office: 0702 1125454.