A few years ago, a good friend of my nephew Steve changed his name from plain old Christopher Young to a rather more uplifting Kit Fantastic.
Kit, his wife Beth and children Tilly & Teddy are obviously now The Fantastic Four. But there’s no truth in the rumour that they’ll christen the next child Fantastic Fantastic.
It turns out that Kit was ahead of his time. An article in the Times today reports that in 2015 a record 85,000 people in the UK changed their name by deed poll.
And why wouldn’t you, when you could wake up one day as Simon Smith, but go to bed as Bacon Double Cheeseburger.
“A name is the least important part of your personality”, Mr Smith told The Sunday People. “It’s given to you by someone else”.
The 33 year-old from Muswell Hill changed his name last year. “Bacon Double Cheeseburger was the first name I came up with”, he said. Presumably with a straight face.
The report doesn’t comment on whether he kept his job – as an investment banker? An Ocado delivery driver? – or what his wife – now Alice Mushroom Stilton Cheeseburger – thought. (I made that last bit up).
The report goes on to say how others have adopted equally bizarre names, such as Sarge Metalfatigue or Simply MyLove Poet.
In a remarkable tribute to Kit & Beth, another couple have renamed themselves Mr & Mrs Amazing.
Louise Bowers, of the UK Deed Poll Service, said: “One man changed his name to Happy Birthday. It gave us a chuckle, but if that’s what they want to do, it’s their choice.”
The process takes 4 working days and costs just £33 for an adult, and £35 for a child.
So I’m going to scribble out a cheque for £66 right now and by the weekend, when we’re off to Courchevel, boring old Andrew & Gillian Morris will have morphed into Monsieur Deep Powder et Madame Corduroy Avalanche Beacon.
It’s Gill’s birthday on Saturday….she’ll love the surprise, right?
And I suppose we’ll just have to find another new name for the summer.