School to change South Park name

John Sheehan
Sunday 29 August 1999 23:02

AN INFANTS' school will be renamed in an apparent bid to shed the unwanted image of the crude animated television programme South Park. South Park Infants in Reigate, Surrey, is to be renamed The Orchards.

The governor of the school, Rev Alan Mayer, said: "We were aware there was a cartoon called South Park and that it was not a particularly nice cartoon. It was in the back of our minds but it was not the major consideration in the decision to change the name of the school."

South Park, an American adult cartoon show, was first shown in Britain in July last year and has become cult viewing for both adults and children. A warning is screened before every episode: "The following programme contains coarse language and, due to its content, it should not be viewed by anyone." The feature-length movie of the Channel Four series, currently showing throughoutBritain, contains 399 swear words, 128 crude gestures and 221 violent scenes. It is attracting large audiences.

Mr Mayer said: "The new Education Act gave all schools an opportunity to consider what they should be called.

"South Park is a recent name for the area, which was originally called Light Hill."

Mr Mayer said fields and orchards had originally been on the site of the school building and that The Orchards was chosen as the new name by the majority of parents.

Sales of an obscure supermarket snack, meanwhile, have increased by 40 per cent in the past year due to South Park. The character Eric Cartman is addicted a snack named "Cheesy Poofs". Fans are buying up stocks of Cheesy Puffs - the "true-life" version sold by the supermarket Spar.

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