Somerset circus legend Gerry Cottle dies with coronavirus

Credit: ITV West Country

Somerset circus owner Gerry Cottle has died after contracting coronavirus.

Cottle found fame in the 1970s with his touring circus.

He died aged 75 in hospital in Bath earlier this week.

Gerry Cottle enjoyed a long and distinguished career leading circuses around the UK. Credit: PA

Cottle first decided on a life in the circus after attending a performance at London's Earl's Court when he was eight years old.

He started with just five performers and described his first show as "terrible".

But he went on to become a big name in the circus industry and lead a number of successful tours.

Gerry Cottle lead a number of circus tours in a long and successful career. Credit: ITV West Country

Cottle retired from the circus in 2003 and went on to buy Wookey Hole.

His agent Mark Borkowski said on social media that Cottle was was "the last of the great circus showmen", adding: "I shall never forget all the mad adventures we shared."