Youngsters Maddison Palmer and Emily McDonnell were dancing with joy after scooping top prize in the Dereham’s Got Talent final.

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Dance duo Maddison, 12, and Emily, 13, known as Madem, beat off strong competition from 15 other acts at a packed Memorial Hall on Friday night to win the £100 prize.

The contest was part of the Dereham Festival and chairman Jim Stebbings said: “It was a night to remember for the 16 finalists and the packed Memorial Hall. Although someone had to win, there were no real losers on the night. Everyone did themselves enormous credit and showed the range of talent that exists in the area given the chance to demonstrate it. It’s definitely something we will want to do again.”

The evening was compered by Declan Matwij and Thomas Monument and the other finalists were Aimee Monument (singer), Daniel Good (pianist), Sarah Harrington (pianist and songwriter), Ewan Morgan (breakdancer), Lisa Anthony and Joanna Brown – Ebony Mill (singers), William Scott (instrumentalist), Joshua Birmingham (singer), Jade, Poppy and Ellie – Trio Star Twirlers (twirlers), Katie and Lisa McArdle (gymnasts), Katie de Silva (singer), Joshua Brightwell (dancer), Josh Lee (singer), Megan Norgate (dancer), Bethany Scott (instrumentalist) and Lizzie Crane (singer).

The judges included John Coghlan, the original drummer of Status Quo, who is bringing his present-day band, John Coghlan’s Quo, to the town this evening to round off the Dereham Festival 2012 programme.

He was joined by Chris Rankin, who started his acting career in Dereham and played Percy Weasley in the Harry Potter films. Christine Dix, who sang with English National Opera for 20 years, and Melanie Jones, who represented the competition sponsors, Norwich & Peterborough Building Society.

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