Staines renamed after Ali G embarrassment

By Jennifer Lipman, May 21, 2012
Ali G

Ali G

The town used as the launch-pad for Sacha Baron Cohen's comedy career has opted to change its name to remove the stigma left by Ali G.

Councillors in the Surrey town of Staines agreed to rename their home as Staines-upon-Thames, in a bid to shake off the legacy left by the foulmouthed comic character.

Celebrations were held in the town on Sunday after the name-change, with a maypole dance and a regatta.

A councillor told the BBC that the decision went further than Ali G and was an attempt to highlight the proximity of the river.

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

In the comedy series Da Ali G Show, which first aired in 2000, Sacha Baron Cohen's shell-suit wearing character was the leader of "Da West Staines Massiv".

Mr Baron Cohen retired the Ali G character several years ago. His latest comedy alter-ego, Admiral General Aladeen, is in cinemas this week.

Last updated: 10:42am, May 21 2012