Fans of pop sensation Britney Spears want to colonise a tiny central Somerset village.
Some of the more vocal fans of the American pop star, who shot to fame with the single ...Baby One More Time, have deemed her a figure of divinity and upgraded her from Britney to the nickname of Godney.
Having discovered the existence of the village of the same name – with a population of 219 people at the last census – her fans have joked on Twitter about uprooting en masse to live in the village in homage to their idol.
While the town of Glastonbury routinely loses their tweets to a stream of those about the festival, and the village of Street stands no chance of getting noticed on the social networking site, the village of Godney is perhaps an unlikely contender for it’s own trending hashtag. The tags are used to a categorise messages and conversations on Twitter.
“When we first took over the pub, I thought I’d use the power of social media to promote the Sheppey Inn,” said Mark Hey, landlord at the pub.
“It made sense to use the hashtag Godney, but everything I wrote just got lost in tweets from Britney fans. And of course, the moment they found out that the village existed, that hashtag was full of people OMGing and saying they were going to move to Somerset.
“It was quite funny, but it meant that everything was getting lost in a mire of nuttiness.”
Mr Hey tried changing the hashtag to Sheppey, instead, but soon stumbled on another problem.
“There’s a town called Sheppey in Kent that seems to be pretty lively, and our stuff got lost in a stream of what was happening over there.
“It was really bad one weekend, when Britney was appearing on a show somewhere and there was a national news story when some girls were caught on video throwing a kitten around a bedroom in Sheppey.”
However, Mr Hey is reasonably philosophical about things, saying that the village’s unlikely connection to the star means that when his tweets are noticed, they get a wider audience than they might have otherwise.
“It makes me laugh, honestly,” he said.
“And I’ve also made friends with a few people in Sheppey, Kent when they’ve tweeted their dislike for the place and I’ve thought they were talking about us.
“Sometimes we’ve had some quite convoluted conversations about things.”
Mr Hey also said he isn’t aware of any of her fans following through on their jokes about moving to village.
“We tend to get a few American tourists passing through, but none of them have seemed all that interested in Britney,” he said.
And despite the star accidentally hijacking the name of the village and his tweets getting lost in a river of admiration for her, Mr Hey says he would never change the name of the pub.
“Obviously, we’re named after the river that runs alongside us,” he said.
“If they changed the name of the river, we’d think about changing our name, but that doesn’t seem very likely.”