Growing up in Wantage, Katie Rogers dreamed of running away to join the circus.

Every year for her birthday her parents took her to see Jay Miller’s Circus near her grandmother’s home on the Isle of Wight.

Fellow students at St Helen and St Katharine school in Abingdon even voted her “most likely to run away and join the circus”.

Now the 25-year-old will return to Wallingford and Wantage as Jay Miller’s ringmaster.

After getting a first class degree in drama and theatre studies from the University of Kent, Mrs Rogers, born Katie Prior, ended up in the IT department of a company in Folkstone.

She applied to a job advert for Jay Miller’s Circus in 2009, but never received a reply.

Life went on, she met Matthew Rogers, of Canterbury, they fell in love and got engaged.

But one day late last year, when he came home for his lunch break, his fiancee said: “Guess who I just got a call from.” Jay Miller’s had invited her to audition.

She said: “They handed me a microphone and pretty much just said ‘go’.

“I was far more terrified in that interview than anything else I have done.”

Her interviewers even brought on a clown to test how well she could joke around. But Mrs Rogers thought she flunked it and missed out on achieving her childhood dream.

A few days later, they called her up and asked: “Is there anything keeping you from joining up?”

She replied: “Sort of, I’m getting married a month into your next tour.”

She turned to her fiance and said: “I’m running away to the circus, would you like to join me?”, and he replied: “Of course.”

The tour started in March, and a month later, they travelled to Canterbury to get married. Mrs Rogers said: “It has been amazing, meeting the Miller girls I had seen performing every year growing up.”

  • Jay Miller’s Circus will be at Wallingford Kinecroft from Thursday to Sunday and at Challow Road showfield, Wantage, from July 7-9. Book tickets online at

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