A town in south east England has voted by a majority of 2:1 to change its name in a bid to escape association with the infamous Sacha Baron Cohen character – Ali G.
Staines is well known as the characters hometown, a fact residents are keen to undo by naming their burgh Staines-Upon-Thames instead.
It is believed that the rebranding initiative will allow the town to escape such negative associations, bringing with it a host of economic benefits.
Alex Tribick, chairman of the Spelthrone Business Forum, led the campaign. He said: 'There’s no doubt Ali G put Staines on the map - but for all the wrong reasons. He put the stain in Staines.
'The town was derided. Despite its situation along both banks of a beautiful stretch of the river, property prices are well below average.”
A tab for tens of thousands needed for sign changes will be picked up by the local business community.
The official name change will take place on May 20.