Ali G may have put Staines on the map but it seems the town isn’t exactly happy about the association with the Sacha Baron Cohen spoof rapper and is changing it’s name.
The comedian may have gone on to find international and silver screen success after The Ali G Show but it seems the birth place of his original character has suffered from “a reputation difficulty - nationally and intentionally”.
According to the local council who proposed the changes the “negative perceptions of Staines were limiting investment and economic growth“.
“I regard Ali G as someone who put Staines on the map, we're just telling people where it is.” Councillor Colin Davis told the BBC.
Staines was continuously ridiculed in the Ali G Show, launched in 2000 with the wannabe gangster talking about ‘Da West Staines Massive’ and visiting the town’s KFC.
Having found it hard to shake the Ali G label, Staines is now going for the upmarket rebranding of ‘Staines-upon-Thames’ to make it appear more attractive. But not everyone thinks it will work with Steve Parsons, club secretary of Staines Town Football Club, calling it pretentious.
He told The Daily Mail: “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.”
Looks like Sacha Baron Cohen has a lot to answer for!