'A time of laughter with Blackpool Tower Circus clowns Charlie Cairoli and Paul'

Charlie Cairoli in his heyday at the Tower Circus with sidekick Paul
Charlie Cairoli in his heyday at the Tower Circus with sidekick Paul
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Re: Around Lancashire, Blackpool  Charlie Cairoli remembered (LP March 30).

I, too, have a soft spot for the UK’s Greatest Show on Earth, aka Blackpool Tower Circus.

My Tower Circus days go back to the 1950s!

My hero Charlie Carioli and his sartorial partner, Paul, were my idea, as a 10 year old, as ‘Clowning Around’.

In my eyes, this was the perfect partnership.

I was recently in possession (no longer) of an original poster for the 1958 Summer Season.

Acts on the bill included The Great Putzai (Tumbling Family) Act, The Morlidor Trio, tigers and lions, elephants, trapeze and dog acts.

This is what I would call the perfect circus bill.

Before the show, the happy elephants were returning, with their keeper, from their ‘paddle’ in the Irish Sea...so much for the lobby against animal ill-treatment in the circus!

Charlie and Paul performed a musical clarinet double act.

Not to be disappointed, Charlie, Paul and ‘Little Jimmy’, with his gormless look (magic), devoted their slapstick genius and used the ‘Water’ feature to bring the house down for the show’s finale. Yes, the unique flooding of the circus ring made for an ideal setting of Charlie and company marooned on a desert island in the centre of the flooded circus ring.

It was an amazing spectacle, which involved comedic heaven built around numerous custard pies and walking the plank.

Pure genius.

Wilf Riley

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