Last week The One Show presented Charles Kennedy with his own star. This came in the shape of a gift certificate from the International Star Registry. Looking at their website, this probably cost a minimum of £30. I can’t remember whether it was framed, but if so it’d go up to £80.
Just in case anyone reading isn’t aware: the International Star Registry is completely bogus. They, along with all the other star naming companies, are purely commercial and have no connection to anything official. The name of the star will not be registered outside of their internal databases. It’s not possible to name stars, like it’s not possible to buy land on the moon. This information can usually be found in the small print of their websites. It’s not exactly a con, but they don’t go out of their way to point out their unofficial nature. I’d argue it’s misleading at best.
I guess you could say ‘what’s the harm?’. So what if it isn’t real, isn’t it just a bit of fun? This is true, but why pay £30 (and the rest they’ll undoubtedly try to get out of you) to people who are clearly trying to rip you off, just for a bit of paper? Doesn’t the duplicity completely ruin the sentiment, anyway? It’s a lovely, romantic idea that’s completely spoiled by not actually being true.
If I had any design skills, I’d create a beautiful PDF certificate saying ‘If I could, I’d name a star after you’, and let people download it for free. I should so do that.