MOST nine-year-old boys like to laugh, but Edward Pinder prefers to make an audience laugh - as possibly the county’s youngest ever clown.
Edward, from Bisbrooke,has followed in his family’s footsteps by becoming a clown earlier than most.
A pupil at Leighfield Primary School, Uppingham, during the winter months, Edward, or Spuds, his clown name, lives a nomadic life, moving from town to town and school to school with the circus on its 63-location tour, going as far a field as North Wales.
Ringmaster Mike Lea said: “Its in the blood, his parents where clowns, his grandparents were clowns and it goes back much further.
“At nine years of age it takes a lot of guts to get up in front of an audience of 400 when we are full.
“He will have a go at anything, he is a typical circus boy.
“When it’s show time we can’t keep him out of the ring, especially when he is getting a good reaction from the audience.
“He is the next generation of the Pinder family to go into clowning.
Edward’s dad Eddy, 29, is a clown in the show and his uncle, Jonny Fossett, is a knife thrower from the Calgary Stampede rodeo
Edward was drawn into the show ring after watching his clown father perform, and he loves playing to the audience, particularly when he recognises a face in the crowd.
Edward said: “It’s really good, some times I get to hit Mike’s finger.”
“When I’m older I’m going to do a knife act like my uncle, get my mum standing at the board.”
“I just wanted to take after my dad and after my uncle with the knife throwing.”
His mum, Erika Pinder, 29, a former professional gymnast, is less certain about his plans saying: “I’m not really sure at the moment. After a bit more practice maybe.
“He makes me really proud.
“When you have your own children you always want them to follow in your footsteps. “We gave him the choice to follow another route but he wanted to be in the show ring.
Uppingham-based Pinder’s Circus is 150 years old and has been been back on the road touring since 2010 after an 18-year break from the road.
Edward originally wanted to be a ringmaster but now has clown aspirations.
In the show Edward does running clowning, which means he comes on between the acts and does a little skit with the ring master while the rest of the circus are preparing for the next act backstage.
The family really do have clowning in the blood. They can trace their circus roots back to 1812.
The oversize suit Edward wears was handed down to him by his grandfather and is at least 100 years old.
The circus will perform today in Oakham at 4.45pm and 7.30pm, tomorrow at 2pm and 5pm and Sunday at 2pm. Tickets are £9 on entry.
Vouchers with discounts are available in local shops.