Robert George John Francis Fossett

Robert George John Francis Fossett (11 November 1922 – 1 June 2004), also known as Jacko Fossett, was an English clown who performed under the name of Jacko the Clown. With his partner of 30 years, Little Billy Merchant, he travelled extensively on the European circus circuit. The pair were regular performers at the Belle Vue Christmas Circus until Merchant's retirement in 1979.[1]

Sydney the boxing kangaroo was another of Jacko's regular partners, although there were in fact eight different animals over the years.[2] Jacko was presented with the World's Fair's Lifetime Achievement Award in 2000. Described by circus historian J. M. Turner as "probably the last of the traditional British clowns", Jacko died suddenly on 1 June 2004, at the age of 81.[3]



  1. ^ Stackhouse & Hyams 2005, p. 65
  2. ^ Gibson, Barbara (Winter 2000), "Focus on the Oral History of the Circus" (PDF), National Life Story Collection, National Sound Archive, pp. 5–8, retrieved 22 September 2010
  3. ^ Turner, J. M., "Jacko and Little Billy", Circus History Message & Discussion Board, Circus Historical Society, retrieved 22 September 2010


  • Stackhouse, Heather; Hyams, Daniel (2005), Belle Vue – Manchester's Playground, Manchester at Heart, First Edition Limited (Manchester Evening News)