Following on with the weird and wonderful in circus PR, I was told about a rather audacious act by the famous German publicist Wolfgang Mayer. Mr Bertram Mills, a known circus proprietor, returned from Africa in 1930 with a host of thrills and freaks for his Olympia Circus. Bertram employed Wolfgang Mayer to publicise the event as sales were sadly lacking. What this circus needed was a main attraction. Mayer put his thinking cap on and came up with the idea to find the most exotic and rare artiste that England had ever seen. She came in the form of a beauty from Ugangi, a rare area of darkest Africa, so rare that little if anything was known about the peoples of that region. Lucky for Wolfgang. The circus attracted untold crowds, all desperate to see this beauty from a part of the world they could only ever imagine. Almost fifty years later it was discovered by an eminent anthropologist that this beauty couldn’t possibly be from that region of Africa. In fact, it turned out that she was actually plain old Doris Eckles from Blackburn, Lancashire whom Wolfgang had plucked from a life of misery as a char lady. The story ran in many newspapers but Wolfgang had died by then so was not available for comment. More details revealed that Mayer had sent Doris to a remote clinic in Germany where she underwent surgery and had a dye implanted into her skin so she could appear to be a negro. 50 years later, this renewed interest in Bertram Mills’ circus made his estate even more money, going to show that even death couldn’t thwart Wolfgang’s skills in publicity.