Harry and Amelia were 2011's most popular baby names - with Fenton rising 215 places after viral video of a runaway dog

One of the fastest risers is Bella, the name of the heroine in the Twilight series of vampire books and films starring Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson, which enters the top 100 at 69.

Click to follow
The Independent Online

It’s a little early for Mo to make his surge but the world of fantasy has made its mark on children’s names as Harry tops the boys’ chart for the first time and Bella emerges from the twilight.

The Harry Potter film saga has finished but the boy wizard’s legacy lives on. Harry has jumped to the top of the most popular boys' names in England and Wales, leapfrogging Oliver and Jack to claim the top spot for the first time, according to official statistics.

“Whether it was inspired by Prince Harry or Harry Potter, we don't know,” an Office for National Statistics (ONS) spokesman said.

There was also a new favourite at the top of the most popular girls' names, with Amelia top of the list, the ONS figures for births in 2011 show, ahead of Olivia and Lily.

One of the fastest risers is Bella, the name of the heroine in the Twilight series of vampire books and films starring Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson, which enters the top 100 at 69.

Jacob, the name of Taylor Lautner's character Jacob Black in the Twilight films, has replaced George in the 10 most popular names for boys.

Willow, a new entry at 75 in the girls’ list, was a popular character in the 90s teen fantasy series, Buffy The Vampire Slayer. The name has been given recent appeal by Will and Jada Pinkett Smith’s daughter Willow, the 11 year-old pop star and actress.

Parents are hoping to inspire a generation of boy racers with Jenson shooting up 29 places to number 67. The rise follows Jenson Button’s victory in the Formula 1 World Drivers’ Championship in 2009.

Team GB’s Olympic cycling success could spark a much-needed revival for Bradley, which has dropped out of the boys names’ 100 along with Aidan, Bradley, Sam, Brandon and Kieran.

The quintet were replaced by Tommy (65), Blake (79), Frankie (84), Elijah (91) and Jackson (99). Dexter, Arthur and Riley were the other boys’ highest climbers.

There is no Mo in the top 100 yet but Mohamed Farrah’s double Gold-winning triumph is set to enhance the various derivatives of the Islamic prophet's name, which made this year’s top 100 separately as Mohammed, Muhammad and Mohammad.

Jessica Ennis’ forename rose two places to number four and is poised for a push for the top spot on the back of the heptathlon champion’s success.

If Harry's leap to the top, from number 3 in 2010, was helped by Royal connections, there was bad news for the Duke of Cambridge, with William falling from seventh in 2010 to 10th in the year of his marriage to Catherine Middleton, who could only sneak herself into the top 100 girls' names at number 57 in the shortened form of Katie.

Her sister Pippa also failed to dent the top 200 despite seizing the spotlight at the Royal Wedding.

Bella and Willow were joined by Elsie (87), Kayla (98), Francesca (99) and Lydia (100) in the girls’ list. They replaced Maisy, Tilly, Aimee, Libby, Alexandra and Laila. The highest climbers were Eliza (up 31 to 62), Evelyn, Sofia and Harriet.

Harry, which leaped two places to the top spot, was the most popular boys' name in seven out of 10 regions of England and Wales, with different names only in London (Daniel), the North East (Jack) and Wales (Oliver). Jacob was the sole new entry in the boys’ top ten, moving up 5 places to number seven. Isabella and Ava enter the girls’ top ten.

Last year there were 723,913 babies born in England and Wales with 28,000 boys names and 35,000 girls names registered.

More than 7,500 boys were named Harry and 5,000 girls called Amelia when they were born last year.

Fenton, the name of a runaway dog in a You Tube clip which went viral last year, was the name given to 39 babies, sufficient for its popularity to surge from number 996 to 781 in the list.

Famous names

Annie Oakley, the US sharpshooter and star of Buffalo Bill's Wild West show, who performed for Queen Victoria, is credited with making Annie the most popular girl’s name between 1887 and 1896.

Joseph’s arrival in the top ten coincided with the popularity of Joseph Chamberlain, the “people’s politician” who established the Liberal Unionists in 1888.

Beatlemania had taken over Britain by 1964, securing both Paul and John’s presence in the boys’ top five. Ringo never quite made the list.

When Lady Diana Spencer married the Prince of Wales in 1981 the popularity of her forename doubled, but only from a modest 36 to 72 newborns.

Shooting star Kylie falls out of favour in 2003, replaced by the Footballers’ Wives-boosted Chardonnay. Aaliyah rises to 92 in tribute to the R&B singer killed in a plane crash the previous August.