TOP GEAR star James May wants to name a day after the North-East academic who claimed man flu exists.

In her book, ‘Getting Your Head Around the Brain’, Dr Amanda Ellison from Middlesbrough said that a larger number of temperature receptors in the male brain may cause men to feel the effects of flu more than women.

Since the claims were exclusively revealed in The Northern Echo on January 19, Dr Ellison – a neuroscientist at Durham University - has attracted attention from all over the world.

Global news outlets like Al Jazeera and Sky News have clamoured for interviews, while debates on shows like This Morning and Radio 5 Live have set the country talking about the issue.

Now, Dr Ellison has been approached by Head Squeeze, an online BBC Worldwide project hosted by James May.

Those behind the programme - which sees May and a team of scientists, mathematicians and comedians react to the news – want to declare a Dr Amanda Ellison Day in honour of her services to men everywhere.

Dr Ellison said: “The past week has been both hilarious and incredibly embarrassing. People have asked me if I’ve sold out as a woman but I am a scientist and it is not about saying men have bigger brains or anything, I’m just making observations on the differences between male and female brains.

“Clearly this is a hot topic and I’ve touched a nerve but it’s great because the whole point of making provocative statements in the book was to get people talking about the brain.

"People are now talking about the differences in brains and how the brain affects behaviour and that is brilliant. There are people down the pub talking about killing off neurons and that is what I wanted.”

The proposed date for Dr Amanda Ellison Day is Dr Ellison’s birthday, Wednesday, June 26. Her book is available at major bookshops and through