Blackpool chip shop serves a circus mash up

Chico the Clown from Circus Starr juggles potatoes donated by Harrowside Chippy in his act.  He is pictured with Joel Hatton, Gina Morales, Sue Miller from Harrowside Chippy, Ashleigh Hatton, Romy Bauer and Jacquie Morales.
Chico the Clown from Circus Starr juggles potatoes donated by Harrowside Chippy in his act. He is pictured with Joel Hatton, Gina Morales, Sue Miller from Harrowside Chippy, Ashleigh Hatton, Romy Bauer and Jacquie Morales.

Talk about a chip off the old block.

Circus ringmaster Joel Hatton and wife Ashleigh brought Mexican clown Chico from Circus Starr to their childhood home to pick up a sack of spuds to use in his show.

Chico Rico and Joel Hatton showing circus a-peel with some spuds at Harrowside Chippy

Chico Rico and Joel Hatton showing circus a-peel with some spuds at Harrowside Chippy

Ashleigh’s mum Sue Miller owns the Harrowside Chippy and offered to donate some potatoes when the circus came to town.

The troupe from Circus Starr, which is a charity which brings relaxed inclusive shows to disabled and disadvantaged children, are pitched just along the road at the Solaris Centre for their whistle stop two show visit to the resort.

Joel said: “Our clown Chico has a gag in the show featuring potatoes and so my mother in law Sue kindly offered up some potatoes from the chippy to help.”

Joel started out sweeping the ring at the Tower Circus before training as a performer.

He and Ashleigh have a unicycle and roller-skate act, but Ashleigh is currently not performing as she is expecting a baby.

Joel said: “Circus Starr has been coming to Blackpool for ten years, it is not just a show its doing something special for the community, it is wonderful.”

He said Circus Starr did two shows at 28 grounds in spring and will visit 27 site on this tour before going into theatres for the winter. It is a 31 year old social enterprise offering all the thrills of the traditional Big Top spectacle.

It is sponsored by local businesses around the country looking to give back to the most over-looked in their communities and families who struggle to go to or enjoy a live performance.

It takes with it special facilities to help disabled people of all ages including a special adult-sized changing room.

Sue Miller said she was looking forward to see her family in the show: “I am more than happy to donate the potatoes, it is a special cause.”

Chico Rico hails from Mexico City and is a seventh generation clown, following in the footsteps of his father and grandfathers before him for the past 30 years.

His act includes a juggling session using potatoes and meat forks while interacting with the crowd.

He said: “I am delighted for this help. The potatoes started out as a bit of a joke, throwing them at each other but then I thought of catching them on a fork and we developed the act.

“I am very pleased to be here in Blackpool. I love my job, it has taken me all over the world, I have learned many languages, seen many cultures and met thousands of people.”