Stacia Briggs’ wish-list for East Anglian mayoral contenders

Ed Balls is chairman of Norwich City Football Club and is therefore immediately recognisable as one

Ed Balls is chairman of Norwich City Football Club and is therefore immediately recognisable as one of the few people who has to remain hugely optimistic about the clubs Premier League survival while everyone else weeps openly in the street. - Credit: Steve Adams

The last East Anglian King was beaten up by Vikings, shot with arrows, beheaded and left in the custody of a talking wolf on the order of Ivar the Boneless and his brother Ubba – but don't let that put you off applying for the position of East Anglian Mayor.

We've come a long way since Edmund the Martyr's reign in 855: the A11 has been dualled, the Snails at Great Yarmouth have been refurbished, Norwich has an IKEA (of sorts) and we've eradicated wolves from our forests, even the talking ones that were massive show-offs.

And now there's going to be a new King or Queen of East Anglia – well, technically, a Mayor, but in practice what we're looking for is an Edmund who can run faster than Vikings or a Boudica who is open to the suggestion that while Romans might be hugely annoying, pasta and pizza is quite nice so we need to let bygones be bygones.

George Osborne, chancellor of the exchequer, has announced that East Anglia is now an actual thing rather than just a BBC and ITN news region and that rather than being hugely territorial and therefore disparaging about our neighbours in Suffolk and Peterborough, we are now friends who must work together rather than make cruel jokes about each others' relatives.

As part of the new East Anglia deal our region will get £900 million to invest in infrastructure, £175 million to invest in housing, £650 to invest in novelty keyrings and mugs and a lifetime of arguments about where the capital of East Anglia is (it's Norwich. Back off, Cambridge and Peterborough).

The first mayoral election is likely to be in May 2017 and the successful candidate will lead the so-called Eastern Powerhouse which is a constituency that includes three county councils and one district authority rather than an edgy club in an out-of-town warehouse that plays low-gloss space trap where rappers craft urban stories over spacey 808-filled grooves. Man.

The Boris Johnson of the East will have special powers, none of which will worry any passing superheroes. They include planning, infrastructure, franchising buses, transport, establishing a regional travel card system, overseeing flood defences and coastal management and working with the Regional Schools Commissioner. Keep up there at the back.

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So all that remains is for us to choose a leader, someone who sums up East Anglia and doesn't make us look like the straw-sucking halfwits that the rest of the UK think we are – bookmakers Ladbrokes have already opened a betting market on the position, but what really matters is making sure the wining candidate comes from Norfolk.

• Delia Smith (20/1)

Could anyone in Norfolk pick her out in a police line-up? I believe they would be arrested if they couldn't, the first of two national treasures (three if you count Nelson)

Is she likely to ever appear on Celebrity Big Brother of I'm A Celebrity Get Me Out of Here? Absolutely not

Plus points: Knows how to boil an egg, how to use frozen mash in a range of inventive ways, how to cook for one and how to address a crowd at a football match to ensure maximum publicity.

Minus points: Can cause the mass evacuation of omelette pans from shops by just one mention on TV

Least likely to campaign on her behalf: Mick McCarthy

• Andrew Lansley (3/1)

Could anyone in Norfolk pick him out in a police line-up? No

Is he likely to ever appear on Celebrity Big Brother or I'm A Celebrity Get Me Out of Here? No

What do his supporters say? 'You have given a huge amount to the Conservatives, the Government and our country.' (David Cameron)

What do his critics say? 'If Lansley was a doctor, he would have been referred to the General Medical Council for affecting patient care on such a mass scale and if the politicians live up to owning the truth, then he should be hauled in front of parliament to face some form of disciplinary action.' (joint statement from JS Bamrah and Kailash Chand OBE).

Least likely to campaign on his behalf: JS Bamrah and Kailash Chand OBE

• The Puppet Man (100/1)

Could anyone in Norfolk pick him out in a police line-up? Don't ask silly questions

Is he likely to ever appear on Celebrity Big Brother of I'm A Celebrity Get Me Out of Here? We can dream

Plus points: Everything

Minus points: None

Least likely to campaign on his behalf: Everyone in Norfolk is likely to campaign for him

• George Freeman (8/1)

Could anyone in Norfolk pick him out in a police line-up? Yes, especially if they live in Mid Norfolk, where he is MP

Is he likely to ever appear on Celebrity Big Brother of I'm A Celebrity Get Me Out of Here? Not unless there's a Mid Norfolk edition of either

What does he say? 'What if the fifty railway stations in East Anglia were all in one company and renovated, developed and made into 4G rural enterprise hubs with flats and shops?'

Hobbies: On Mr Freeman's website, it says that he enjoys wildfowling, which apparently involves looking at wild birds and then shooting them and not, as was suggested when I asked, using the toilet in the wild.

Least likely to campaign on his behalf: Donald Duck.

• Ed Balls (16/1)

Could anyone in Norfolk pick him out in a police line-up? Yes. He is chairman of Norwich City Football Club and is therefore immediately recognisable as one of the few people who has to remain hugely optimistic about the club's Premier League survival while everyone else weeps openly in the street

Is he likely to ever appear on Celebrity Big Brother of I'm A Celebrity Get Me Out of Here? I wouldn't rule it out

Potentially sticky situations if made Mayor: Derby Day loyalties

Least likely to campaign on his behalf: The Ipswich Town Supporters' Club

• Charles Clarke (12/1)

Could anyone in Norfolk pick him out in a police line-up? Yes. He was ahead of me in the queue for a taxi at Norwich Train Station the other day

Is he likely to ever appear on Celebrity Big Brother or I'm A Celebrity Get Me Out of Here? No

What does he say? 'I'm long past my sell-by date, I'm afraid, but thank you for the thought.'

Unlucky number: 310 (the number of votes Clarke was beaten to the Norwich South seat in 2010 by Simon Wright)

Least likely to campaign on his behalf: Jeremy Corbyn (in the Daily Mail, Clarke said: 'Corbyn is an absurd vessel for the hopes of the disaffected')

• Other people with Norfolk links we can call on: Percy Weasley, John Hurt, Gladys Pugh from Hi-de-Hi, Hugh Jackman's Mum, Stephen Fry, the ghost of Anakin Skywalker, Davros, Liza Goddard, Amanda Holden, James Blunt, Myleene Klass, The Darkness, Herbie Hide, Lord Nelson, Pocahontas, Robert Kett, Judge John Deed.

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