18 February 2014, York
There are currently 32 Elvis Presleys living in the UK according to ukphonebook.com – the online UK Directory Enquiries provider. Further investigation reveals a range of celebrity namesakes with Brad Pitt, Clint Eastwood, Marilyn Monroe and even a Wesley Snipes appearing in the telephone directory and electoral register.
It would appear parents have also been taking inspiration from fictional characters when naming their children, with James Bond listed 253 times. There are also 45 Harry Potters and 20 Don Drapers, although this is most likely a coincidence as those born since the creation of these characters are unlikely to have a telephone directory listing and certainly have yet to reach voting age.
Believe it or not there are even some parents out there unkind enough to name their children after famous criminals and villains with names such as Charles Manson, Al Capone and even a Darth Vader appearing in the UK electoral roll.
But what’s it like when your name is famous but you aren’t? Laura Cunningham, Marketing Executive at ukphonebook.com says, “I was recently talking to a Keith Lemon and asked him what it was like sharing his name with the comedian. He said, ’the problem is, everybody who hears my name expects me to be funny. It almost feels like part of my identity has been stolen by the character’”.
Whilst many of us may find this amusing, it can quickly turn into a nuisance for people forced to field comments about their more famous namesakes.
Managing Director of ukphonebook.com, John Lewis, is no stranger to the perils of having a famous name. “I’ve become quite good at pretending people are being original when they make jokes about my name. Almost every time I have to give my name I’m told it’s a shame I’m not the John Lewis.”