Leading article: Better to maintain the mystery of Springfield

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And so the mystery is solved. After 20-plus years and more than 500 episodes, the creator of The Simpsons has finally cracked and admitted that it was Springfield, Oregon, all along. Since the very beginning, fans have speculated as to which of the 34 US towns that bear the name – not to mention the one in Essex – could claim to be "the real Springfield", home of the world's most famous yellow family. Now they know.

But after the momentary satisfaction, only anticlimax remains. After all, the guessing is half the fun. It is all very well to theorise that Cranford is really Knutsford or Barchester is Salisbury, but who wants to know for sure? Would not some of the magic be lost if Camelot, say, was definitely in Cornwall, or Yorkshire, or even France? Or Ambridge was without question Cutnall Green? Or Milk Wood was assuredly off the A486 just after the campsite? We rather feel that it would.

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