A LIFELONG dream to join the circus as a clown is, this week, coming true for a Hereford man.

Kyle Samuel, from King’s Acre, said he knew when he was just two years old what he wanted to do for the rest of his life.

The 18-year-old had his heart set on joining the circus as a clown, and this week he makes his debut in Peter Jolly’s Circus.

He said: “I went to America when I was two and they have bigger shows there. I thought ‘that’s it, I know what I want to do’.

“And since then, I’ve worked at it for years and years. Years ago you could run away with the circus aged 13, but now it’s much more strict and you have to wait until you’re 18. It’s taken me years to get to where I am.

“I saw that Peter Jolly’s circus had advertised for staff and clowns and artistes and thought I would go for it.”

Kyle, who has previously worked at Sunshine Radio and says he has been entertaining people for his whole life, then went for an audition which proved successful.

“I love entertaining children and adults,” he said.

“There’s not enough out there. It’s all on TV.

“You can sit in front of a TV for hours but when it’s in front of you and it’s real, it’s different.

“That’s what appealed to me more than anything – it’s the classic, proper sort of entertainment.”

Peter Jolly’s circus, which is in Leominster this week, has sparked controversy in recent years as one of only two circuses in the UK which still use wild, exotic animals including lions and tigers.

But Kyle said the animals are treated very well, adding that people are welcome to visit to see for themselves.

He says that joining the circus is not something you can “just go into”, with training ranging from juggling to slapstick comedy.

Kyle – or Clown Jerry as he will be known – will be performing alongside fellow clown Bobbo, with another jester called Maxy set to join the gang later on in the year.

Kyle said he was feeling “nervous but excited” ahead of his debut performance which took place last night.

“This is it for me now,” Kyle explained. “I will be gone and I won’t be coming back again until the show returns next year.”