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  • A pseudonym used in London theatre when a part has not been cast, an actor is playing two parts, or an actor does not want his or her real name to appear in the programme.

    The US equivalent is george spelvin.

    Other generic show-business pseudonyms include:

    david agnew, traditionally used on BBC TV drama programmes in the 1970s on occasions when a writer's name could not be used for contractual reasons; and alan smithee, used between 1968 and 1999 by Hollywood film directors who no longer wanted to be associated with a film they had originally directed.

    February 12, 2010