Years of a clown: The British circus performer still wowing Las Vegas aged EIGHTY
He still performs 10 physically demanding shows a week for Cirque du Soleil - though he has stopped walking the tightrope
By Paul Cockerton
2 Jun 2012
Brian Dewhurst spent his birthday this week throwing popcorn at men and begging young women for kisses.
Not that unusual for a birthday, you might think, except it was all part of his job as a circus clown and the milestone he was celebrating was his eightieth.
Brian grew up in London learning his skills with a tightrope slung across the backyard and made his professional debut at 13.
As an adult, he started his own circus troupe and entertained his two children by trimming the hedges while on stilts.
He still performs 10 physically demanding shows a week for Cirque du Soleil, with the only concession to his age that he has stopped walking the tightrope.
Old hand: Brian Dewhurst, centre, gets a standing ovation
Brian Dewhurst performs as Brian Le Petit during one of two nightly showings of Mystere,
Last week he marked his 80th birthday as he would any other work day _ by starring in two back-to-back performances of the show "Mystere" at the Treasure Island hotel-casino on the Las Vegas Strip.
However, he said the only unexpected thing about his life’s devotion is that people are surprised he is still doing it.
"My father worked into his late 80s, so I don’t think this is anything unusual," Dewhurst told The Associated Press as he prepared for his first performance on his birthday. "It’s just another day."
So he was there, in his oversized black suit, and red foam clown nose, playing the part of rude clown Brian Le Petit and pretending to pull a bra from beneath the shirt of a large middle-aged woman
He posed as an usher and then led confused tourists across the theatre, onto the stage and back to the entrance before ripping up their tickets and tossing the paper scraps into the air like confetti.
At one point, he partially unbuttoned his shirt and tweaked his nipples mid-dance.
There was a small concession to his birthday - his son Nicky made a surprise guest appearance in the show while the family threw him a party afterwards.
And his family said he won’t give up the spotlight. "He lives for this," said daughter Sally, 37.