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What’s in a name?

28/05/2012

Eamonn Holmes is a minor TV personality over here. Eamonn’s the sort of bloke who fronts moving wallpaper for the hard of thinking during the daytime, however, so sensible folk like you and me never see him. Eamonn’s a good and well-intentioned sort, who values education and literacy. In 2006 he put his name to an interactive spelling game from DDS Media Limited. Eamonn was the questionmaster, and Eamonn’s beaming face was on the case. He even invested his own money in the enterprise. That’s Eamonn’s money, by the way, for the avoidance of all doubt. Furthermore, in case you hadn’t noticed by now, that’s the way he spells his first name: Eamonn.

Eamonn has a large and loyal following of housebound telly-viewers, but the company was cautious and the initial order was for just 10,000 games. As it soon turned out, that was just as well and an immense relief to all involved. Imagine Eamonn’s surprise when he opened up his advance pack of DVDs and found this:

It was Eamonn himself who was the first to spot it, and the official line at the time was that he was “bemused rather than angry”. Yes, I get bemused when people drive dangerously, are gratuitously rude or spill soup, coffee or beer on me.

According to an anonymous DDS insider, ‘bemused’ had a slightly different value for Eamonn who called DDS Media ‘dunces’. ““He was absolutely livid. He shouted down the phone, ‘Everyone thinks they can spell! Well, you lot obviously can’’t.’

“’He went ballistic. He was absolutely furious. “He said, ‘How can you expect people to buy this game when you’’ve misspelt my name on the front?’’ “We had to destroy the whole first run of 10,000 games and delay the launch.””

The launch delay was a second bitter blow, as it meant that the game was not in the shops in enough time to capitalise on the Christmas rush, where Eamonn had been hoping to compete with Chris Tarrant’s range of Brainteaser games.

I’m sure that it’s a completely unconnected fact that, if you check the Companies House website you will find that DDS Media Limited, which was only incorporated in May 2006, has been dissolved.

Incidentally, place not thy faith in spill-chuckers when it comes to the matter of people’s names. In an issue of Writer’s Digest, E.S. Gaffney claimed that when she worked for a U.S Department of Energy laboratory, she submitted a proposal to a man whose last name was Prono. The spell-checker automatically changed Mr. Prono’s name to … yes, you guessed it.

As the old showbiz truism goes: “All publicity is good publicity, as long as they spell your name right.”

Eamonn to that.

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