Billie Smiles Circus
(photo from Billie Smile's Circus facebook)
from:Kent and Sussex Courier
Thursday, June 06, 2013
CIRCUS wars have broken out in Tunbridge Wells over what one owner has called "a complete rip-off of our name".
Tony Hopkins, who has run long-established Billy Smart's Circus under licence since 2003, was incensed to learn that rival Billi Smiles Circus was appearing in Tunbridge Wells this week, a month before his own show was due to arrive.
"It's wrong to have picked a name which is so similar," said Mr Hopkins. "Even some of our own people have been taken in - I've had old friends ringing up from all over the country asking where I am, it's ridiculous. And that means the public are bound to be misled too."
He warned: "Instead of bringing their kids to a famous circus with years of tradition behind it, they'll be buying tickets for a show that's only been going for a couple of months."
However, Deyvid Kirilov of Bulgarian Billi Smiles Circus, currently performing at Colebrook Park in Longfield Road, Tunbridge Wells, insisted: "The similarity in the name is just a coincidence. My mum's name is Billi and our aim is to make kids smile, so that's where our name came from.
"It's bad timing for Billy Smart's that they're coming here too, I had no idea. But perhaps our being here first will be good advertising for them too."
However Mr Hopkins, whose circus opens at Dunorlan Park on July 9, was having none of it.
"Of course they did it deliberately, and I know the Smart family have sent them a solicitor's letter about it."
But Mr Kirilov, running his first solo show after training with his parents' long-established Big Kid Circus, said: "No-one's called me, we haven't received any letters."
Read more: http://www.thisiskent.co.uk/Circuses-climb-ring-clash/story-19206335-detail/story.html#ixzz2VWoeo1Zk
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