PEOPLE in Middlesbrough are being urged to put their town firmly on the map by voting in a national competition.

Local historian Araf Chohan, of Grange Road, put the town forward for the competition launched by BBC Breakfast TV.

It calls on viewers living in towns or cities which suffer from an image problem and asks them to act as advocates for their home town.

Mr Chohan, 53, who has written a book about Middlesbrough, told programme-makers: "I really do love my home town, as I have been all over the world - I have been an airline steward for 26 years - but still live in the same street I was born in.

"My home town has fantastic countryside on its doorstep and iconic and totally unique bridges across the river Tees. It has an award-winning museum to one of the country's foremost sons - Captain Cook - in addition to its greatest asset, its wonderful, friendly and welcoming people.

"Like all places it has its bad side, but the good outweighs the bad."

His e-mail prompted a visit from a film crew who spent the day filming points of interest in the town.

Middlesbrough Mayor Ray Mallon appeared on the footage, along with footballer Emanuel Pogatetz, on Tuesday.

Middlesbrough is one of five towns shortlisted for the competition. The other entrants are Milton Keynes, Holyhead, Paisley and Wolverhampton.

Poet Ian McMillan will pen an ode to the winning area.

Mr Chohan said: "I want as many people as possible to vote for their town."

To vote, visit breakfast