Town crier is ‘lost for words’ after his starring role at Norwich Pride goes viral

PUBLISHED: 10:08 02 August 2019 | UPDATED: 10:08 02 August 2019

Town crier Mike Wabe. Picture: Sonya Duncan.

Town crier Mike Wabe. Picture: Sonya Duncan.

Archant Norfolk Photographic © 2013

As a town crier Mike Wabe is not used to being struck speechless.

Norwich Pride 2019Norwich Pride 2019

But the 69-year-old said he was "lost for words" after gaining cult status after for his starring role at Norwich's Pride festival.

Mr Wabe, also known as town crier Mike, from Thetford, was invited to perform a cry at the 2019 Pride event.

Mr Wabe gave a performance on the balcony of City Hall, starting with "Ogay, Ogay, Ogay" and finishing with "God save you queens", which left the crowds cheering.

But what Mr Wabe did not realise was that he was about to go viral.

Norwich Pride 2019Norwich Pride 2019

The video of his cry now has more than 17,000 views online and he has received hundreds of comments from the LGBT+ community who have praised him for his proclamation of love and acceptance.

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Mr Wabe said: "I can't believe it's happened. It was an amazing day and I'm lost for words which is unusual for a town crier.

"It needed doing. People are people and it doesn't matter who you are. I've never been an icon in my life and I'm happy to be a gay icon. I don't have any problem with it any shape or form. It's brilliant."

Norwich Pride 2019Norwich Pride 2019

To top it off for the Watton crier, the video was retweeted by well-known actor Stephen Fry who commented "how perfect is that?".

Michelle Savage, chairman of Norwich Pride, said: "Mike's cry thrilled the Norwich Pride crowds and is continuing to bring huge pleasure with thousands of people watching the film on social media.

"As a community we have a history of being made invisible. It was a glorious moment for us when Mike stood on the balcony of City Hall and proclaimed to the world that Norwich loves and celebrates its LGBT community."

In the lead up to the event there have been reports of a rise in the levels of hate crime against the LGBT+ community and Mr Wabe's cry has been described as the perfect antidote.

Mr Wabe added: "It's way up there with one of the best events I have ever done.

"The whole of the event and the whole of the city was family friendly. There was no feeling of intimidation. Everyone was friendly, happy, smiling and safe."

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