A spokesman for the UK Clown Council has made a blistering attack on the British Broadcasting Corporation for what he claims is a deliberate policy of systematic exclusion from the major news and current affairs presenting jobs.
Speaking at the annual clowns’ convention, Barney Bubbles, head of the UK Clowns Council, slammed the BBC for persistent failures to offer career advancement opportunities to members of the clown community. ‘Clowns have been pigeonholed as slapstick circus performers…’ he claimed in an emotional address to members, in which he appeared to both cry and then laugh unconvincingly. ‘If you have very long shoes, or a hair that lifts up when you laugh, somehow that makes you unsuitable to present Newsnight’ he claimed.
Several decades ago all television news was presented by upper-middle class white men, but now it is completely normal to see ethnic minorities and women on British TV screens. However, one minority remains trapped in its traditional pigeonhole, with very few clowns managing to break out of their traditional area of circus based slapstick. Mr Bubbles recounted his own attempts to make inroads into serious news journalism ‘I was in Islamabad during the terrible bombings and assassinations last year, and when I rang the BBC news desk to file my report they kept rejecting it. And that was after 17 takes of flinging a custard pie in the face of the speaker of the Pakistan senate.’
Even behind the scenes there is institutionalized discrimation against clowns. A clown make up artist was criticised for his handiwork on Newsnight, when Jeremy Paxman announced the death of John Paul II wearing a big sad face painted on with lipstick, as hidden water squirters sprayed tears out towards the camera. And a clown working on Top Gear was criticized for tampering with a Lamborghini that was being driven round Brands Hatch by Jeremy Clarkson. ‘He was doing over a hundred miles an hour when the doors fell off and the steering wheel came away in his hands. God help that clown if they find out what he did to Richard Hammond’s rocket car.’
wrinkled weasel, sheldonprice and Zadok (second pic by Hennell)