The world’s most famous meerkat took over the town of Market Harborough today – when it was officially renamed MEERKAT Harborough.
The Leicestershire town was officially renamed and twinned with the fictional Russian village of Meerkovo.
The town was renamed Meerkat Harborough for one day and will feature in a new TV ad campaign due to be aired this summer.
Meerkovo is the fictional home meerkat star Aleksandr Orlov – whose hilarious catchphrase ‘Simples’ made him a global star.
Fans voted overwhelmingly for the town to be renamed after the star of the comparethemarket.com TV ads.
Today Harborough District Council chairman Rosita Page was presented with a twin town status certificate.
The town’s main road signs were also changed and read: ”Welcome To Meerkat Harborough.”
Cllr Page said: ”I am delighted we will become Meerkat Harborough for the day and I would like to thank all those who voted for us.
”It has been a bit of fun in gloomy times.”
Meerkat Harborough beat more than 100 towns across the UK to win for the honour of being renamed and twinned with Meerkovo.
Harborough received more than 8,000 votes – almost 60 per cent – in the Facebook poll – beating competition from Market Drayton, Downham Market, Windermere and Weston-Super-Mare.
The town will get £5,000 to spend on a community project.
Speaking at the ceremony in the town Aleksandr said: ”It give me large pleasure to announce Meerkat Harborough as winner of prestigious twin-town polls.
”I have great hope that the twinning of two great and handsome villages will help raise awareness of the plight of long-suffering Meerkovo.”