As family, friends and colleagues mourn the death of circus founder Nell Gifford, preparations are under way to make the 2020 tour a celebration of her life.

Mother-of-two Ms Gifford, who grew up in Oxford, died on Sunday, following a lengthy battle with cancer. She was 46.

READ AGAIN: Giffords Circus leader Nell Gifford dies

Giffords Circus, which tours Oxfordshire the Cotswolds and surroundings areas, will be in its 20th year next year.

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Circus colleagues have promised to make it a special year in tribute to Ms Gifford with a show called The Hooley.

Giffords Circus said: "Her vision for Giffords Circus was to bring happiness, imagination and enliven people’s souls. Giffords Circus shall continue to do just that.

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"While the world is a dimmer place today, Nell will continue to live through the Circus.

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"In 2020 we will celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Circus. Nell wanted it to be the showstopper and it will be just that. Next year’s production, The Hooley will celebrate the first 20 years, the next 20 years and Nell’s incredible life.

"Nell built a circus to last. It is poised to grow and fulfill Nell’s plans for the future."

Oxford Mail readers said they were saddened to learn of Ms Gifford's death.

Lonestarcobra told oxfordmail.co.uk: "Very sad. Giffords was an amazing experience."

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Libbabe added: "What sad news. A lovely lady & sincere condolences to her family & friends."

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On the Oxford Mail's Facebook page Carroll Bishop wrote: "Bless your heart Nell you will be so missed," while Marie Henderson added: "RIP beautiful lady."

The touring schedule in 2020 is to start earlier than usual and the touring dates have been announced on the Giffords Circus website giffordscircus.com

They are as follows: