Park attraction no laughing matter
A new theme park attraction has sparked fury among a group of clowns.
They may be funnymen by profession but members of Zippos Circus claim Alton Towers' Carnival of Screams is no laughing matter.
They have organised a demonstration against the horror maze which "reinforces an unfair stereotype" and "portrays clowns as evil".
The group, armed with banners and placards, plans to protest at the theme park entrance in a bid to have the Halloween attraction taken off the agenda.
Entertainer Janerik Brenner, 40, insisted the circus folk are not clowning around.
"It's very unfair to portray us as evil," he said.
"I have always been a clown, I have grown up around clowns, my father and my grandfather were clowns and we are not evil."
Mr Brenner, who first donned face paint as a 10-year-old, said the attraction could have a detrimental effect on his livelihood.
The performer, who goes by the name of Fips the Clown, added: "I think the attraction will make people view us in the wrong sort of light.
"It could even have a knock-on effect - once children have got it into their heads that clowns are evil and scary, it stays with them and it makes our job a lot, lot harder."