The head of Middlesbrough Town Hall resigned in protest at the town’s mayor lifting a ban on controversial comedian Roy Chubby Brown, it has emerged.
Mayor Andy Preston made the decision in August, and Lorna Fulton, who had run the council venue since May 2018, stood down in September as a result.
On Tuesday, Mr Preston said the comic, from Middlesbrough, could “come home”.
The veteran comedian has thousands of fans, but many others think his humour is racist, sexist and highly offensive.
He has been at the centre of rows about his gigs in a number of towns – most recently in Swansea, where a gig was cancelled last month.
Last year, Middlesbrough Town Hall said there was “currently no place in the programme for this show”.
‘Defend his right to perform’
But in a Facebook post on Tuesday, Mr Preston said Brown would perform there in the New Year.
“Many big comedy names are controversial – in fact, that’s really part of what comedy is,” he wrote. “Many comedians say things that some people may find offensive.
“Personally, Chubby Brown’s act isn’t my cup of tea – but I respect and will defend the right of Chubby to perform his act and for those who do find him funny to spend their hard-earned cash on tickets to see him.
“If you find Chubby Brown’s act offensive, there’s a simple answer – don’t go to see him.
“But I know there are lots of other people who do want to see him – and now they’ll be given that opportunity to see him in his home town.”
Brown’s manager Tony Jo told Teesside Live: “I’d like to thank the mayor for his support in clearing the situation up and Roy is looking forward to his return.
“He’s absolutely delighted. It will be a very emotional night for him and he can’t wait.”
Lorna Fulton declined to comment. Middlesbrough Council said it wouldn’t be appropriate to comment on any issue relating to an individual member of staff.