January 24, 2021

COVID-19: Circus star Gerry Cottle dies of coronavirus aged 75

January 13, 2021

Circus star Gerry Cottle has died of coronavirus aged 75, his agent has said.

Cottle died in hospital in Bath after contracting COVID-19, Mark Borkowski said in a statement.

Writing on Twitter, he described him as the "greatest circus showman" and said he would "never forget all the mad adventures we shared".

"Gerry was a loving family man who is survived by his wife Betty and three daughters and a son, seven grandchildren and two great-grandchildren," the post added.

Cottle found fame in the 1970s with his own show the Gerry Cottle Circus, which he ran until 2003.

He also presented the Moscow and Chinese State Circuses in the UK and appeared at Glastonbury Festival.

Cottle first decided on a career in the circus after seeing a performance at London's Earl's Court at the age of eight.

He abandoned his O-Levels at 15 and left his family in Surrey to pursue his dream.

Starting out with just five performers and a second-hand tent previously used to sell flowers, he described his first show as "terrible".

He gave up his life in the circus in the early 2000s when he bought Wookey Hole, a museum and amusement attraction in Somerset.

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