Coco the Clown
First transmitted in 1966, Joan Bakewell interviews renowned circus performer Nicolai Poliakov who made his name as 'Coco the Clown'. Coco discusses his life and career, and reveals some of the unwritten 'rules' of clowning.
BBC Four Talk Collection
More about this programme
"Clowns are not made they are born," says Nicolai Poliakoff, who was one of the most famous circus performer of his generation. He tells of leaving home at the age of seven to join an Italian circus where he learnt riding, tumbling and the trapeze. He then offers his own technical characterisation of his circus persona, describing himself as an 'Auguste', the white-faced clown who plays the fool but who always wins in the end. Poliakoff proudly celebrates Britain's affection towards slapstick comedy but laments the fading popularity of the circus in England.
About BBC Four Collection programmes
Programmes are selected, in part, for their historical context and reflect the broadcast standards and attitudes of their time, which may not accord to some current BBC editorial guidelines. We aim to select programmes which can be shown in their entirety but in some cases edits are required.