Silly dancing, magic tricks and slapstick humour are just some of the things that have put a children’s entertainer from Park Street in the running for a national award.

Paul Albert, who is better known as Mr Banana Head when he dons his monkey patterned waistcoat and bow tie, will compete in the final of the UK’s Children’s Entertainer of the Year Award in February.

The 42-year-old, who lives in Ringway Road, was named the winner of the Watford Association of Magician’s competition of the same name on December 27, despite having an injured leg.

Two weeks before the Watford final he had a bad fall and tore a tendon in his leg leaving him in a leg brace.

He said: "It was the first time I had performed in front of other entertainers.

"I was competing against people who have been going for a long time. I wasn’t expecting to win.

"I was just in complete shock. I was so overwhelmed. My wife burst out crying.

"It means such a huge amount."

The father-of-two’s new title has lead to him being selected as one of six finalists to battle it out for the national crown.

He said: "I feel that I’m in a little bubble of doing my parties and now I’m being thrust into the lime light.

"I’ve always totally believed I can do anything.

"I’m very excited but very scared and nervous. I feel very privileged and honoured."

Mr Albert has been an entertainer for two years ago after he gave up his office job to follow his dream.

His act now includes a puppet monkey by the name of Mango.

He said: "I love doing it so much.

"It is the most fulfilling thing I have ever done in my life.

"The thing I enjoy more than anything is seeing the children laugh."

Mr Albert will perform in front of hundreds of children and other entertainers in Blackpool on February 23.