sensational memoir of Britain's greatest circus impresario.
Gerry Cottle, a stockbroker's son, ran away to join the circus when
he was just fifteen. He started learning his trade by cleaning up
after the elephants in small family-run shows and, when he wasn't
chasing girls, he progressed to erecting tents and being a very bad
clown. Within a few years he had married into one of the oldest
circus dynasties and started his very own circus, moving towards his
ambition of owning Britain's biggest circus.
With a nose for publicity second only to P T Barnum, Gerry's circus
grew and grew. At its peak he hosted Seaside Specials on TV, learnt
to hypnotise a crocodile for the Emir of Sharjah, led spectacular
tours of Hong Kong and Singapore, and hosted the Circus World
Championships. But during this very public success Gerry hid an
addiction to both sex and drugs, which was exposed when he was
arrested for possession of cocaine. The heady world he had created
seemed about to crumble.
Ever the 'Comeback King', Gerry cleaned up his act and went on to
thrill hundreds of thousands with the Moscow State Circus, the
Chinese State Circus, the infamous Circus of Horrors and the first
truly successful British non-animal circus.
Packed with irrepressible stories of circus acts gone wrong,
girls chased and family feuds, Confessions of a Showman tells the
extraordinary life story of the ultimate showman.
Confessions of a Showman: My Life in the Circus