Ziggies and Saints are on the rise in Britain, with David Bowie and the Kardashians among cultural figures inspiring UK baby names, the official statistics body said Wednesday. Since Bowie died in 2016, the number of boys being named Ziggy each year has risen threefold, while the number of girls being named Bowie has climbed by a similar proportion, according to the Office for National Statistics' annual report on UK baby names. The number of boys named Saint has risen more than tenfold since the birth of Kim Kardashian's son in 2015, from five to 59.

Films and television also appear to be influencing parents' choices. The number of girls registered with the name Maeve, and boys with the name Otis-both characters from "Sex Education"-are still on the up after the second and third series of the successful Netflix show aired in 2020 and 2021, the ONS data showed. Arthur had been rising in popularity before the gangster yarn "Peaky Blinders" first hit the screens in 2013 but jumped into 7th place in 2018 and 3rd in 2020.

From the big screen, the number of boys named Luca-eponymous star of last year's Pixar fantasy-jumped into the top 30 for the first time. Bowie is not the only musician who appears to be a source of inspiration, with UK singers George Ezra and Mabel also apparently driving choices. Ezra was just outside the top-50 most common names given to boys in 2021, having risen in popularity as the musician's star rose.

The number of baby girls named Mabel also peaked in 2021 at 885, following large increases in 2018 and 2020. "This may have been influenced by the singer and songwriter Mabel, whose breakthrough single 'Finders Keepers' reached the top 10 in 2017. Her album 'High Expectations' later reached number three in 2019," said the ONS. Overall, Noah and Olivia were the most popular UK names for boys and girls in 2021, according to the statistics agency. - AFP