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AOL UK has denied that the omission of "Connie" from its current series of TV ads spells the end of the road for its annoying advertising cyber-genie.

A spokesman for AOL UK insisted that Connie was still with AOL but conceded that "she may not have quite a high profile in the future".

"She's taken a bit of a back seat - but she's not gone," he said.

AOL UK is currently running ads to plug its latest AOL 8.0 software. The ads feature people daydreaming about their ideal world online while sub-consciously drawing the figure "eight" - geddit?

Connie first hit the UK's TV screens way back in 1998. She quickly became the public face of AOL UK by nannying the nation's growing band of novice Net users.

In 2000 Connie was described as a "prissy know-all is a strange choice to symbolise the exciting new media revolution" by the advertising industry as the character topped the list of duff ads.

Last year Rachel Willis, the model and actress who plays AOL UK's cyber-genie Connie in its ads, was mugged on her way home in South London.

Thankfully, she was OK, just a little shaken. ®

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