Ian Hendry Portrait ‘Clown Of Quality’ – TV Times 18th March 1972

Picture above: Portait of Ian Hendry taken from the TV Times article, ‘Ian Hendry – Clown Of Quality’ – 18th March 1972

Ian Hendry’s love on the circus – and clowns in particular – stemmed from his student days at the Central School of Speech and Drama, when by chance he met Coco The Clown who was working for Bertram Mills’ Circus. Ian went to work for him in his spare time as his stooge and so began a lifelong friendship with Coco and his wife Valentina.

This article in the TV Times, reflected upon Ian’s love affair with the circus – and the audience’s reaction – and saw him dressed up as a clown once again.

Coco The Clown 1951 Olympia

Picture: Coco the Clown polishing his oversized shoes before a performance at Olympia Kensington in 1951

Coco The Clown And Bertram Mills’ Circus

Coco, whose real name was Nicolai Poliakoff, was born in Latvia in 1900. His parents worked in the theatre when Nicolai was born, but both lost their jobs a few years later and, in order to survive, Nicolai started busking from the age of five. In 1929 Nicolai, or Coco as he was then called, came to England with his young wife Valentina and began working for Bertram Mills’ Circus.

For the full story of Ian Hendry and Coco The Clown:

See: Ian Hendry and The Circus That Came To Town – Part One


Until next time,

Neil Hendry
Editor, Official Website of Ian Hendry

Further Reading

A detailed account of the life and work of Ian Hendry in the new biography:

Read:  ‘Send in the Clowns – The Yo Yo Life Of Ian Hendry’ by Gabriel Hershman

Send In The Clowns - The Yo Yo Life of Ian Hendry

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