Bubbles the Clown (sometimes known as David Forsyth)

I ALWAYS liked clowns and circuses. I decided to do a few shows as a clown, realised it was quite successful, and it became my full time job. 27 years later – here I am. I do singing, balloons and magic, it’s a traditional show and it’s the same one I’ve being doing my whole career. I’m a great believer in Scottish songs: Ally Bally Bee, Three Craws and You Cannae Shove Your Granny Aff a Bus.

People were a bit surprised when I would tell them my job, or when my wife would have to tell people her husband was a clown. But after so many years, people get used to it.

It’s been a good life. I love every day and my passion hasn’t gone at all – from the first day to the last day.

I’m 59 now, and sometimes I will get a bit tired on stage if I am trying to dance to Gangnam Style. But I don’t think I’ll retire. I’ll never stop. I used to do 60 or 70 shows at Christmas but now I pick and choose. It’s my age and my health that is against me now – if I do a show I have to sleep for six hours afterwards.

I don’t think the children have changed much since I started. You get an occasional child who will sit watching their iPad rather than looking at the clown, but gadgets haven’t made too much of a change. If children are at a party, doing magic, making balloon animals, then they will be entertained. Children are great really, they are very rewarding and they never give me any bother – it’s only the parents that do.

One thing is that clowning maybe appeals to a slightly younger age group nowadays: I used to do children’s parties up until about aged 10 but now eight or nine year olds are usually the maximum.

Like any other organisation that has unions, clowns have meetings together and discuss problems that we face in the industry. The biggest problem we hit against at the moment is adults who put the idea of ‘scary clowns’ into their children's heads. They will say things like ‘I don’t like clowns’, or ‘clowns are scary’; but they are saying these things in front of their child which will then pass that fear on.

We have had problems with films like IT coming out, creating the idea of ‘killer clowns’ or costume characters. We are maybe not as popular as we used to be thanks to that.

I think clowning will always be there, but there is so much competition in children’s entertainment these days: people can use an iPhone and create their own light show. Personally, I will always keep my act the same – I have always been Bubbles the Clown and I will continue to be. I always keep the full white face and I won’t do a show without it. I know one or two of the clowns have started taking make up off which I was a wee bit disappointed with – especially those who have done it for so many years.

With the increasing competition I maybe wouldn’t like to be starting off now but 20 years ago it was great. As well as clowns, circuses get a bad name these days for various things and a lot of them are closing down. I think that’s a shame – it’s a change for the worse.