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Ship almost called Boaty McBoatface will retain reminder of original name

What the research ship will look like when it is built. Credit: NERC

The ship Boaty McBoatface may have been renamed after Sir David Attenborough - but it will still hold a reminder of its original moniker.

Sir David revealed the vessel will have an underwater mini-submarine which will affectionately be called 'Boaty'.

Speaking as construction began on the £200 million research ship, the naturalist told Good Morning Britain: "The name actually is going to be preserved on one of the submersibles which will be operating from the research ship when it's built.

"So there will be whatever the correct initials are, Boatface or Boaty, or something of that sort."

Sir David said he was flattered the boat was being named after him. Credit: PA

Despite the public voting overwhelmingly in favour of the ship being named Boaty McBoatface, the government settled with the name RRS Sir David Attenborough.

The TV presenter said he was "very touched and flattered" to have the ship - which will set sail in 2019 - named after him.

He will lay the first beam on the ship later - a traditional maritime ceremony to bring good luck the ship and its crew.

A petition for Sir David to change his name to Boaty McBoatface "in the interest of democracy” has since garnered nearly 4,000 signatures.