Thursday, January 10, 2013
LIFE might be a banana skin for many but Paul Albert has no qualms about adopting the fruit in his new persona as a children’s entertainer.
For Paul, aka Mr Banana Head, has a burgeoning career making children laugh and next month he will be competing in the UK Children’s Entertainer of the Year award in Blackpool.
Paul, 42, who lives in Park Street, moved to the area a decade ago when his wife was pregnant with the couple’s first daughter.
People had always told him that he should be a children’s entertainer because he had the knack of making children laugh and two years ago he decided to put on the entertainment at parties for his daughters on their respective seventh and fourth birthdays.
Not only were the parties a great success but he loved standing in front of a group of children being silly and making them laugh out loud.
From there, Paul’s career as a children’s entertainer took off with recommendations from other parents and in December 2011, he decided to leave his job at a travel adventure company and become Mr Banana Head full time.
He joined the Watford Association of Magicians in September and despite his relative inexperience, entered its annual Children’s Entertainer of the Year competition.
Paul went on: “Twelve days before the competition I had a fall and tore my tendon resulting in wearing a leg brace and being on crutches. I carried on with my parties sitting on a chair and for the competition I managed to stand without crutches and just moved very gingerly with the brace on.”
To his amazement and delight, he won the competition and just two days later, he was invited to compete for the title of UK Children’s Entertainer of the Year in Blackpool on February 23.
He will be competing against six other people in front of around a thousand entertainers, magicians and children. He said: “It’s the biggest honour and something I would have aspired to take part in some time during my career as a children’s entertainer.
“To be invited to do so after only two years feels incredibly overwhelming and surreal if I am honest.”
Paul described being a children’s entertainer as, “the best job in the world” and said he was privileged to be doing it. He has a supportive family – his daughters are now nine and six, and are his biggest fans.
Paul added: “My daughters are constantly coming up with ideas for the shows and are brutally honest if they think something’s not funny.”