Blyth returning officer's feathered hat becomes breakout star of the election

The real election night winner was not Labour, but an elaborately feathered hat - if certain corners of social media are to be believed. 

The hat in question - a majestic purple wide-brimmed number, adorned with fluffy ostrich feathers - belongs to the returning officer in Blyth.

Lucia Bridgeman, who is the High Sheriff of Northumberland, appeared on screen to declare the results of four Northumberland counts.

But the hat stole the show, with viewers calling it "a serve" and declaring her "an icon".

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The outfit also included a ruffled collar, prompting Austin Powers jokes from social media users.

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The hat was declared the "star of the night" and drew comparisons to the hat Kate Winslet wore as Rose in Titanic and the Quaker oats logo.

"When you're a returning officer in Blyth at 11 and presiding over a Salem witch trial at midnight," one X user quipped.

Ms Bridgeman told the BBC that as she does not have Twitter, she was unaware of the social media storm her hat had prompted.

"This is the outfit that the high sheriff wears, it's not meant to be ostentatious, but is meant to be a uniform, in a sense," she said.

The hat had been handed on by a previous high sheriff in another county and would be passed on again in future, she said.