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Norma Nelson: Without the laughs, election night would just be cold pizza and monotony

PUBLISHED: 15:10 09 June 2017 | UPDATED: 16:10 09 June 2017

Norma Nelson. Photo: Archant

Norma Nelson. Photo: Archant

Archant

It’s not easy this election lark - staying up all night on a diet of just cold pizza and coffee, watching as yet another seat is announced.

Labour candidate Clive Lewis celebrates winning South Norwich, with Conservative candidate Lana Hempsall. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY Labour candidate Clive Lewis celebrates winning South Norwich, with Conservative candidate Lana Hempsall. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

So luckily there are usually a few oddities and extravagant outbursts to keep journalists amused and capture our otherwise short attention spans.

In our region of Norfolk, Suffolk and East Cambridgeshire not much changed - the seats stayed the same colours, with familiar faces.

But that’s not to say there was no celebration at all.

In fact, Labour’s Clive Lewis in Norwich South started off early with unbridled joy at the exit polls, which suggested a hung parliament.

Conservative Keith Simpson held his Broadland seat. Photo: Luke Powell Conservative Keith Simpson held his Broadland seat. Photo: Luke Powell

But his showstopper came as he retained his seat - and doubled his majority - as he launched into thumping his chest and enthusiastically gesticulating with victory signs. Some would rejoice at Mr Lewis’ enthusiasm, others might wonder whether the presence of the national media had anything to do with his reaction.

Elsewhere, Broadland’s Keith Simpson was hoping bigger really did mean better, as he donned a blue rosette as big as his head, without exaggeration. However, Mr Simpson - who also kept his seat - had not taken a leaf out of his party leader’s book however and played down his own name, giving most space to the frills. This stands in contrast to his campaign - which my spies tell me was markedly a no frills affair.

Sir Henry Bellingham again won his North West Norfolk seat and is backing Theresa May.

But the Bellinghams haven’t always been so kind to prime ministers.

Norman Lamb, MP for North Norfolk, with his son Ned. Picture : ANTONY KELLY Norman Lamb, MP for North Norfolk, with his son Ned. Picture : ANTONY KELLY

In May 1812 one of Sir Henry’s ancestors stormed in to the Palace of Westminster and assassinated the then PM, Spencer Perceval.

Perceval became the one and only British prime minister ever to be assassinated.

John Bellingham was hanged for it.

Meanwhile, in North Norfolk, Liberal Democrat Norman Lamb was re-elected and our photographers caught the emotional moments Mr Lamb shared with his family in the aftermath.

North North News editor Ally McGilvray.

Picture: MARK BULLIMORE North North News editor Ally McGilvray. Picture: MARK BULLIMORE

However, those who regularly pick up a copy of our sister title the North Norfolk News - and who doesn’t?! - may have noticed a striking similarity between editor Ally McGilvray and Mr Lamb’s son Ned. I can exclusively confirm they are not the one and the same, and Mr McGilvray could instead be found tucking into a microwave pizza while covering the count.

The region did not have any joke candidates this year - or at least not official ones - to the great disappointment of this columnist. When we inevitably all turn out again for Election 2017 Part Two, can I humbly request East Anglia’s very own Lord Buckethead equivalent, to at least give us all a giggle?

Other news

A regional heat of the UK International Kids’ Lit Quiz was held at Dereham’s Neatherd High School and saw 28 teams from 20 Norfolk schools taking part.

The boss of the region’s failing mental health trust has set out areas the organisation will focus on in order to recover.

New data has revealed the number of doctors at the region’s mental health trust has shrunk over the last five years - whilst the number of managers has risen.

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