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Don't call politicians clowns - it's offensive to clowns, says Norfolk big top performer

PUBLISHED: 12:06 28 December 2018 | UPDATED: 12:31 28 December 2018

David Konyot, who has called on the media to stop calling politicians clowns to avoid offending circus performers  Picture: Nick Butcher

David Konyot, who has called on the media to stop calling politicians clowns to avoid offending circus performers Picture: Nick Butcher

Calling leave-leaning politicians clowns is an insult to clowns.

As Brexit becomes increasingly described as a circus by the media, an award winning big top performer has hit back at the stigma he believes this has cast on his profession.

In a letter to the Guardian newspaper, Norfolk-based David Konyot wrote: “I am a prize-winning international musical clown, part of an honourable profession, and am deeply offended by the misuse and misrepresentation of “clown” in connection with parliamentary or other forms of chaotic behaviour.

“The constant use of the word “circus” in the press to denote a mess or bad behaviour is also distasteful. Unlike the comparison the press constantly draws, a clown or indeed a circus must be orderly and efficient to work properly.”
Mr Konyot’s sentiments have gone viral in both mainstream and social media.

On his Twitter feed, the 71-year-old from Tilney St Lawrence, near King’s Lynn, posted: “Well #circustoo seems to be gathering strength.

“The misuse of ‘circus’ and ‘clown’ to describe a chaotic mess, mainly political,has been highlighted in the press throughout Europe and as far as Australia and all positive for our complaint.

“If you see articles with the words ‘circus’ or ‘clown’ misused in a derogatory way use #circustoo and complain to the appropriate media outlet.”

Mr Konyot began as a singer, dancer and variety performer in the 1960s before moving into circus un the 1970s.

He rose up to become ringmaster, while developing clown and musical comedy routines.

He toured around the world as far as Hong Kong and southern China with Gerry Cottle’s Circus, also making an appearance at the circus festival in United Arab Emirates and was appointed technical director of the English National Circus in Kuwait in 1988.

He returned to the UK in 1989, where he appeared in three Royal Command performances, was awarded Best British Comedy Act on four occasions and was to head a government road safety campaign.

Since the late 1990s, he has been touring Europe with different troupes.

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