A PUB chain defended its choice to sell exotic animal meat 15-years-ago this week.

The Australian Walkabout pub sold kangaroo burgers and crocodile fillets to customers in Middlesbrough town centre, which led to a demonstration by animal rights protestors.

Andrew Kerr, from Middlesbrough said: "It's sad. They are shooting kangaroos, saying there are too many in Australia. But it is an excuse to get rid of them to keep sheep farmers over there happy.''

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Meanwhile stuffy London journalists who labelled Teesside a "cultural wilderness" felt the vocal wrath of North-East opera superstar Suzannah Clarke.

The world-respected soprano and Middlesbrough FC fan turned up at the offices of the London Evening Standard in a ballgown and attempted to perform before humiliated journalists, who had criticised the area.

The singer, from Normanby mounted her one-woman protest at the newspaper's head office after reading the tongue-in-cheek article which described Teesside as a "cultural wilderness".

Miss Clarke prepared to sing a re-written version of Strauss's Laughing Song declaring the virtues of Teesside.

But the journalists who wrote and approved the article hid upstairs while Miss Clarke performed to receptionists.

Miss Clarke said: "I called someone from the sports department and said you should know we're a right classy lot, really, and offered to come over and sing. He said it was all a joke."

A spokesman for the Evening Standard stressed the article was tongue-in-cheek.

In Sunderland, defensive duo Ritchie Pitt and Dick Malone became the latest Legends of '73 to be immortalised in glass.

The centre and right backs, respectively, made their names in the Sunderland team which charmed the nation by beating the then mighty Leeds United team in one of the biggest FA Cup final shocks of all time.

Both paid a visit to the National Glass Centre in Sunderland to have their feet cast in glass in front of visitors in the hot glass studio.

They were the latest members of the team of 1973 to have their feet cast for an exhibition to be launched at the centre in May, to coincide with the 30th anniversary of the cup triumph.