City changes name to nix Ali G association

May 21, 2012 at 11:37 AM   |   Comments

STAINES-UPON-THAMES, England, May 21 (UPI) -- The city of Staines, England, changed its name to Staines-upon-Thames, in part to distance itself from the jokes of Sacha Baron Cohen's "Ali G" character.

Colin Davis, a member of the Spelthorne borough council, said the name change is part of an effort to give the town a more glamorous image than the one depicted in popular culture, including by Cohen, who named Staines as the hometown of Ali G, The Guardian reported Monday.

"Ali G may has had a role, but I think it goes back further than that," Davis said. "I regard Ali G as someone who put Staines on the map, we're just telling people where it is."

Steve Parsons, the club secretary of Staines Town Football Club, lobbied the council against the name change.

"The council have decided they don't want to be linked with the Ali G show. But the one they need to worry about is 'Keeping Up Appearances,' where Mrs. Bucket changed her name to Bouquet.

"I think it is as pretentious as that," he said.

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