Page last updated at 12:51 GMT, Tuesday, 14 October 2008 13:51 UK

'Grumpies' sue over use of name

Grumpy expression
Bougon means "grumpy" in French

A French court has rejected an attempt by a group of people with the surname, Bougon, which means "grumpy", to change the title of a new TV comedy series.

The 60 claimants were upset at the way their name was being associated with a family of scroungers, fraudsters and alcoholics in the series, Les Bougon.

A lawyer for the real-life Bougons said they would appeal against the ruling.

Andre Meillassoux said if the title was not changed, "little Bougons will go through hell in their... playgrounds".

Les Bougon, adapted from a hugely popular French-Canadian series for the channel M6, portrays a dysfunctional family living on the margins of society, committing benefit fraud and shop lifting.

[Bougon has] come to mean a tax cheat because of the programme
Catherine Bougon

The French newspaper, Le Monde, hailed it as a breath of fresh air.

However, Catherine Bougon who helped form the association of around 60 namesakes seeking to get M6 to change the title of the programme, said she disagreed.

She said that it had made life unbearable for people called Bougon in Quebec.

"It's come to mean a tax cheat because of the programme. In fact, they don't call them cheats any more, they call them 'bougons'," she added.

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