The Northampton Clown has responded to claims that his appearances are “harming society” and helping to fuel the fear of clowns.
Tony Eldridge, secretary of Clowns International which represents the entertainers in Britain, has said the Northampton Clown is “doing clowning no favours”
and “spoiling the reputation” of professional clowns.
The Northampton Clown has regularly appeared in Northampton since September and has more than 200,000 likes on his Facebook page. A number of copycat clowns have made appearances in other parts of the UK.
Mr Eldridge, whose clown name is Bluebottle, said: “The people behind it might see it as a bit of a laugh, but for the victims it can be a horrible experience.
“The fear of clowns – coulrophobia – is a real thing and some people will react very badly to this. Not to mention people who are elderly or vulnerable.
“This has nothing to do with clowning, it’s a small group of people with stupid views and it spoils the fun for everybody else.”
Mr Eldridge said most professional clowns followed a clown code of conduct which included not wearing their costume in public.
But, in an exclusive interview with the Northampton Chronicle & Echo, the Northampton Clown has said he does not condone any type of criminal behaviour and is sorry if his appearances have affected the work of professional clowns.
The Northampton Clown said: “I have never once been threatening or aggressive. Yes there have been copycats, but have these copycats actually been carrying knives and chasing people?
“I remember when I first appeared I was accused of going to someone’s house and asking to paint someone’s windowsills? What complete nonsense. So perhaps these are also over exaggerated claims that has been repeated and exaggerated by the media as it always is.
“Victim is also a strong word to use. Victims of what? Victim implies that there is some sort of crime involved. All I do is appear in recognisable places around Northampton and afar and a lot of people still love it.
“I wave at people who spot me and they wave back and ask for a photo. I can’t help it if some one who sees me is afraid of clowns. My type of clowning is a positive thing and has brought a lot of happiness to many people who enjoy a bit of fun and mystery.
“I am sorry if I have affected professional entertainers work, but people should see that there is nothing sinister about clowns at all. People have always been scared of clowns.”