‘Camelot made me the person I am today’

FLYING:  Steve Royal practising his flying routine at Camelot Theme Park
FLYING: Steve Royal practising his flying routine at Camelot Theme Park
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Last month, the Guardian reported that the Camelot Theme Park in Charnock Richard has shut its doors for the last time. Now weeks after the announcement, Robert Kelly talks to one of the site’s most famous entertainers BBC Radio Lancashire funnyman Steve Royle about his time working there as a jester and try to get his feelings about it closing.

‘Without doubt, Camelot made me the person I am today and made me successful in terms of honing my act and jokes.’

That is the view of Steve Royle who was shocked by the news that one of Chorley’s main tourist attractions was set to shut down.

The BBC Radio Lancashire comedian says he always has a smile on his face when thinks back to his antics back in his 20s and his spell at the facility saw him spend 13 years there.

Now, he thinks it is sad that the resort has had to closed and it leaves a massive whole in the area.

“It was just a brilliant theme park and it was all about the family.

“If you wanted to go somewhere for a day out it was not like Alton Towers or Blackpool Pleasure Beach where you had to queue for hours to get on the rides.

“It also had the reputation of having Britain’s largest jousting event and that brought people for the entertainment value.

“The rides may have just become a bit dated over time but there was plenty of things to do there.”

The comedian recalls living on a caravan at the back of the site and rushing to put his costume on and running through the staff gate to get in on time.

He said: “I remember people setting off early in the morning just to avoid the rush in the morning on the motorways.

“Yet I would be there in my 20s after enjoying the nightclub five nights a week and doing my best to get in on time for staying in my caravan.

“It was an amazing time for me because one of my acts was as the Jester and I would stand there chatting to people waiting to go in.

“I was able to practice my skills - develop my confidence and just being able to talk to people.

“It meant that I was able to try new jokes which would have been perfected by the end of a season ready for my acts with the likes of Dave Spikey.

“It was a unique opportunity because I would perform in front of more that 2000 people every day and you will never get a chance like that ever elsewhere.

Speaking to Guardian while he was putting the final preparations together for his Pantomime performances, Royle from Wheelton says he still uses some successful from his act.

“When you are in front of so many people they cannot always see what you are doing if you are juggling balls. So I used to do things with the bigger items such as guitars and flags which I still do today and everyone loves it still.

“Everyone remembers me as Mad Edgar but along with one of the other guys I used to dress up like a monk with a challis.

“When people were going onthe log flume ride where they went down towards the water we used to throw water over them but when they later saw the photographs they saw it was us.

“It was so funny and there were some really talented people involved in it as well who have gone on to other things such as being stunt doubles for movies.

“I am sad that it has had to close down.”

- Do you have any memories of working at Camelot or just the theme park?

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