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Staines considers name change to escape Ali G

The Surrey town tries to distance itself from its most infamous “resident”…

AUTHORITIES IN THE British town of Staines have been meeting to decide whether to change its name – in order to shake off unwanted  associations with satirist Sacha Baron Cohen’s tracksuit-clad-wannabe-gangster character, Ali G.

The council of the Surrey town are fearful that the Ali G’s portrayal of Staines as an urban wasteland will mean the town will fail to attract businessduring the upcoming 2012 Olympic games, being held in nearby London.

In an attempt to promote more pleasant connotations, the name Staines-upon-Thames has been put forth. Alex Tribick, chair of the Spelthorne Business Forum, which proposed the name-change said:

There are 15 miles of the river running through the borough and it is a world-iconic image but we found that it is woefully underused in our borough.

However, opponents to the plan have blasted the suggestion – comedian Bobby Davro called the plan “pompous and snobby”.

Claudette Curtis Jenkins, chair of the Staines Town Society told the BBC:

All the signage, all those boards, all of the printing at the council. It’s a huge amount of expenditure, and all just because of Ali G? It’s stupid, it really is.

We can’t help but wonder if Slough is next…

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