David Jones (Bowie) is top of the pops again, if only in name

Keeping up with the David Joneses may not be as easy as you think - there are at least 15,763 of them in England and Wales.

A gathering of men with that name would fill the Albert Hall three times over.

The Office of National Statistics - with its customary talent for revealing everything you ever wanted to know about trivia but could not be bothered to ask - has announced the most common combinations of first and surnames.

And it would appear that the moniker Bowie rejected - David Jones - is the most popular for men, while Margaret Smith is the top title for women.

The forenames David and Margaret take the two top slots, with Jones beating Smith to the number one position in the male category and the reverse being true with women.

In both male and female names, Joneses and Smiths dominate the game with only one lone Williams in the top 10.

The statistics office found the top 100 combinations of forenames and surnames by using the National Health Service central register, which lists everyone who has registered with a GP in the past decade.

John and Mary Smith, names one might have expected to be top of their respective lists, managed to achieve only the third and fifth slots. When counting surnames alone, however, Smith remains the most common, followed by Jones, Williams, Taylor and Brown.

A common name, of course, is no bar to stardom. Among the greats to bear a popular title is Elizabeth Taylor. The actress shares her name - the 95th most common - with 2,018 women in England and Wales.

Other famous people whose names make an appearance are singers Paul Jones, James Brown, Robbie Williams, James Taylor, Thomas (Tom) Jones and Davy Jones, the former Monkee. Actors with common names include Maggie Smith, Catherine (Zeta) Jones and Michael Williams.

A wider range of forenames in the female top 100 suggests that parents are more imaginative with girls' names. Margaret, the most common female name, appears 11 times, compared with 22 listings for David in the male list.

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