Reasons to be cheerful . . .

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The people of Suffolk have always prided themselves on their sense of humour.

And now a latest survey proves what many have long known - residents in Ipswich are the funniest in the region.

It appears the sounds of laughter are ones you can expect to echo throughout the streets.

The town has the highest “laughter quotient” in East Anglia - with only a handful of others rivaling its cheeriness.

The survey - which has been carried out in time for Comic Relief - quizzed residents in 10 towns across the region with an alternative to the traditional IQ test.

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Instead respondents were scored on their “laughter intelligence”, including LPD (laughs per day).

Ipswich, Northampton and Watford came out as having the top total LQ scores across the region - making them “laughter leaders”.

On average people in Ipswich laugh nine times a day - two more than their counterparts in Norwich.

People also have a higher average LQ of 18 compared to Norwich, which has an average LQ of 17.

This means, people in Ipswich are classed as “laughter leaders” (scoring 19-24 points), the highest rating, whereas people in Norwich are classed as “laughter lovers” (scoring 13-18 points).

Mo Shapiro, creator of the LQ test and expert laughologist, said: “On the whole it's good news as the region is mainly made up of 'laughter lovers' as opposed to 'laughter learners'- meaning they have a fairly high LQ. This shows that you know how to have a laugh and make other people laugh.”

The lowest LQ of the region was attributed to Milton Keynes' 16-24 year olds who just made it on to the “laughter lovers” rating with their score of 14 out of 24.

Results revealed that people in the eastern region on the whole are classified as “laughter lovers” (gaining 13-18 points out of 24) on the LQ grading scale.

Stall holder Gary Cox, 24, who runs Coxys Fruit and Veg at Ipswich market, said: “The people working here all make me laugh. So does Mick Cox, my dad, he's a bit of a joker. My girlfriend, Jessica, she makes me laugh a lot.”

Tony Slatter, 67, from Shotley, said: “I don't think you can put your finger on it. Laughter is more or less instant. People in Suffolk have always prided themselves on a good sense of humour - it's very important.”

Jackie Brown, 60, of Derby Close, Ipswich, said: “Quite a lot of things make me laugh. You sit here and watch people walk past - it can be quite amusing if they say or do something funny. I like a good sense of humour - although in this day and age it can be quite difficult.”

Ella Goldsmith, 16, from Foxhall, said: “My dad makes me laugh. He thinks he's really cool and puts his music on in the car really loud. He plays ridiculous songs. It's embarrassing.”

Andy Storey, 43, from Stutton, who runs the bicycle stall on Ipswich market, said: “Lots of things make me laugh. You see a lot of funny things doing this job. Something can just trigger me off.”

Michael Bach, 17, from Ipswich, said: “People having unfortunate events make me laugh. I also like cartoon comedies like Family Guy and The Simpsons.”

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