CHICO the talkative parrot is known for his cheeky banter but he was tight-beaked today during his 15 minutes of fame.
The three-year-old African Grey, named after The X Factor singer, fluffed his lines when faced with journalists and film crew all hoping to catch him reciting Humpty Dumpty or telling his owner to ‘shut up’.
The parrot went before the media along with his owner Sandy Hunter to celebrate Hanover Housing Association retaining its RSPCA pet-friendly silver award.
Chico has become well known on Bradford’s Delph Hill estate for his Geordie accent copied from Mr Hunter, a native of Newcastle, and for riding in his car.
Mr Hunter and his parter Monica Hopps played back a recording of Chico’s antics after the bird refused to speak to waiting Press.
The recording included such gems as “Sugar Puffs for daddy”, “I’m going to tickle your belly”, “He’s a little tinker” and “Shut up Monica”.
Mr Hunter, a resident of a Hanover retirement flat, said it was marvellous to be able to keep a pet.
“It keeps us in the house more and I don’t go drinking any more,” he joked.
Hanover’s estate manager Mandy Vincent said many housing associations did not allow tenants to have pets.
She said Chico was normally very chatty.
“I know he’s definitely a good talker. He says my name and tells Sandy that I am in the car. I can hear him talking away when I walk past.
“It is quite unusual for a housing association to allow pets. There are probably a couple of others. I would like to have a parrot, they are lovely. Chico is a good talker and is spoilt with chocolate.”
A Hanover spokesman said: “Hanover leads the way in supporting residents who want to have a pet and all types of pets are considered, not just cats and dogs.”