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'Massive’ change in Ali G’s hometown

SPOOF CHARACTER: Ali G

THE TOWN of Staines has officially changed its name to Staines-upon-Thames in order to distance itself from ridicule that was caused by the fictional character Ali G.

Spelthorne Borough Council hope that business will improve by the rebranding of the town, which is synonymous with spoof character Ali G, who was played by Sacha Baron Cohen.

Talking about what caused the change in the name, councillor Colin Davis told the BBC: “Ali G may have had a role, but I think it goes back further than that.

"I regard Ali G as someone who put Staines on the map, we're just telling people where it is."

Cohen’s character first appeared on Channel 4 on The 11 O’Clock Show. His popularity led to him getting his own programme – Da Ali G Show - in 2000. A feature film, Ali G Indahouse, was also released in 2002.

Staines Town Football Club, who are nicknamed The Massive, which was a common phrase used by Ali G, criticised the name change.

Steve Parsons, the club’s secretary, said: "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."

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