AN award-winning clown has revealed how the past year has affected her business.

Louby Lou, real name Lucy Wilkinson, from Leigh, was regularly performing in Bolton Royal Hospital for children until the pandemic hit.

She has performed monthly at the hospital for sick children for several years, but has been away from the wards for more than a year and the acclaimed clown, who had previously even been invited to Downing Street for her work, has seen her work dry up drastically due to Covid restrictions.

She has been performing on doorsteps, driving around in a van called ‘Giggles on Wheels’, but cannot wait to get back to full-time parties and events.

She said: “It has been tough. One thing that I have tried to do is to keep a hold of my purpose, which is to bring laughter and joy to people, whether you are an adult or a child. When lockdown first happened, I went into panic mode, but have become more adapted to things now.

“I had a bad weekend recently where I didn’t do as much as I thought I would - I thought everything would be back to normal. The thing is, I have been doing entertainment at Bolton hospital for years and I haven’t been able to do it. I keep thinking ‘is there something we can do’ but I’m not staff, so I just have to wait and see for when I can go back in.

Too often I worry about bookings, travel, time but in reality, as long as I love what I do and the people I entertain have a great time, then I’m doing a good job. I know friends, family, other business owners who worry about these things too. Just be happy in what you do, try your best and remember to smile doing it.”