‘Public know the difference’ between pranksters and professional clowns, says Lowestoft-based based entertainer Andrew Davis - aka Andy the Clown

Andy the Clown. Picture: Nick Butcher

Andy the Clown. Picture: Nick Butcher - Credit: Picture: Nick Butcher

'We'd never jump up and frighten someone - professional clowns would never do that.'

Andy the clown from Lowestoft.PHOTO: Nick Butcher

Andy the clown from Lowestoft.PHOTO: Nick Butcher - Credit: Nick Butcher

Those are the words of Lowestoft-based Andrew Davis - aka Andy the Clown and organiser of the annual Clown Gathering UK conference - following the clown craze that has swept the nation over the past week.

Reports of people jumping out and scaring people while dressed in clown costume have dominated the media, with many speculating that professional clowns who perform for a living may struggle to gain the trust to do their work.

For years, Mr Davis and his contemporaries have battled against what they see as an unfair media image that clowns are scary.

The fear of clowns - or coulrophobia, as it is known - has been around for decades but has not been helped by incidents like those in the past week, which many feel is to the detriment of true, professional entertainers.

But Mr Davis said: 'I believe the public know the difference between someone in a rubber mask and what a clown is.

'We're not adverse to making people jump in a fun way with exploding pens, but the public know the difference.

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'The public now need to educate the younger ones so they know the difference.'

Mr Davis and his contemporaries take great care to ensure their costumes do not cause unnecessary alarm, especially when peforming in front of young audiences.

Mr Davis says that he will wear a lot less make-up in a school and will adapt his look depending on where he is working.

He also does not place himself in situations where someone might be frightened and will avoid those he knows do not like clowns.

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