God save the parmo! Eulogy to Middlesbrough delicacy lands performer with town crier role

Philip Harrison exclaimed "God save the parmo" in a video audition for the role of Middlesbrough Town Crier. Credit: Middlesbrough Council

A eulogy to a Middlesbrough delicacy has landed a performer with the esteemed role of the new town crier.

Philip Harrison was crowned winner in the recent race for the position after a flamboyant video audition in which he exclaimed - with a "commanding voice and creative flair" - "God save the parmo".

The local performance artist made his debut in the town's Centre Square during the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations on Thursday 2 June.

Hard to miss in the colourful town crier livery, designed and made by local artist Chloe Leeson, he will close Middlesbrough's Jubilee Parade on Friday afternoon.

Councillor Stephen Hill, Middlesbrough Council's executive member for culture and communities, said the town crier's appearance was a "fantastic addition" to the weekend's festivities..

He added: “We hope you all have a brilliant bank holiday and enjoy the host of free events in the town centre and across Middlesbrough too.”

Mr Harrison was one of a number of people who auditioned for the position of town crier following a recent callout by the council.

It was the winner's eulogy that made him stand out for the judges.

Teesside's world-famous parmo is deep-fried breaded chicken topped with bechamel sauce and cheese. Credit: ITV News

What is the town crier wearing?

Inspired by traditional town crier uniforms, the regency era, the new romantic looks of Adam Ant in his Prince Charming era and Boy George of the 1980s, the new livery includes a cape, robes, a waistcoat and hat.

Elements of the new town crier’s livery have been created using old velvet curtains that had previously been hung in Middlesbrough Town Hall.

No longer required, the curtains were stored away until the idea of upcycling them and turning them into the town crier’s cape was suggested.

There is also a smaller version of the cape being made for when children visit Middlesbrough Town Hall and have tours of the council chambers.

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