For years fans have tried to guess which town The Simpsons neighbourhood of 'Springfield' is based on , with the generic town name not really helping as dozens of namesakes exist in America. However, 25 years on from when the hugely loved comedy made its debut, creator Matt Groening has revealed the inspiration behind the suburb - Springfield, he has said, was a town in Oregon not far from where he grew up.

Talking to the Smithsonian magazine, Groening said "Springfield was named after Springfield, Oregon. The only reason is that when I was a kid, the TV show "Father Knows Best" took place in the town of Springfield, and I was thrilled because I imagined that it was the town next to Portland, my hometown. When I grew up, I realized it was just a fictitious name. I also figured out that Springfield was one of the most common names for a city in the U.S. In anticipation of the success of the show, I thought, 'This will be cool; everyone will think it's their Springfield.' And they do." Except not anymore, probably, those who do live in Springfield, Oregon will no doubt be knocking up hastily assembled rides and souvenir stores even as we type.

In an illuminating interview, Groening also commented on the creation of Bart Simpson, saying "Back in high school I wrote a novel about a character named Bart Simpson. I thought it was a very unusual name for a kid at the time. I had this idea of an angry father yelling "Bart," and Bart sounds kind of like bark-like a barking dog. I thought it would sound funny."