Wednesday, 1 April 2015

April Fools!!

It's the mischievous media's favourite day of the year....Newspapers and broadcasters revel in reporting implausibly silly stories on April Fools' Day...I'm sure today will be no different! So before you fall for this year's inevitable crop of pranks here are some of my favourites from over the years....

 The Swiss Spaghetti Harvest....

One of the best known public pranks is the 1957 news show broadcast by Panorama. It was a three-minute segment about a bumper spaghetti harvest in southern Switzerland. The show said: "For those who love this dish, there's nothing like real, home-grown spaghetti."

Hundreds of people phoned the BBC wanting to know how they could grow their own spaghetti tree....To this query the BBC simply said: "Place a sprig of spaghetti in a tin of tomato sauce and hope for the best."  

Flying Penguins....

Another corker from the BBC which claimed to have discovered 'a colony of penguins unlike any other in a 2008 nature documentary trailer.

Harsh Antarctic winters had forced them to adapt and 'fly thousands of miles to the rainforests of South Africa where they spend the winter basking in the tropical sun it claimed.

The documentary, titled Miracles of Evolution, was hosted by Monty Python's Terry Jones and filmed by Prof Alid Loyas - an anagram of April Fool's Day.

Newspapers were also in on the act - the Mirror carried the wind-up on its front page while the Telegraph hailed the film as an 'instant classic'

Left-Handed Whopper....

 Burger King published a full page advertisement in USA Today in 1998. The advert announced a new item on their menu: the Left-Handed Whopper. Especially designed for the 32 million left-handed Americans, the new burger included the same ingredients as the original Whopper, but all the condiments were rotated 180 degrees.

Thousands of customers went into restaurants to request the new sandwich while many others requested their own 'right handed' version.

No Gravity....

During an interview on BBC Radio 2 on the morning of 1 April 1976 the astronomer Patrick Moore announced that at 9:47AM a once-in-a-lifetime astronomical event was going to take place. The planet Pluto would pass behind Jupiter, temporarily causing a gravitational alignment that would reduce the Earth's own gravity. Moore told his listeners that if they jumped in the air at the exact moment this planetary alignment occurred, they would experience a strange floating sensation.

The BBC received hundreds of phone calls from listeners claiming to have felt the sensation. One woman even reported she and her 11 friends had risen from their chairs and floated around the room.

Instant color TV....

On April 1, 1962, Sweden's Sveriges Television hosted a "technical expert" who offered a way for viewers to convert their black-and-white TV sets' pictures into color....Drape a nylon stocking over the screen, so that the prismatic qualities of the nylon mesh will refract light waves in the proper way (although they added that moving your head back and forth will help the effect). How many stockings were ruined by hopeful Swedish viewers?  

Big Ben Goes Digital....

BBC listeners were shocked, outraged and naturally a bit confused when the broadcast company announced in 1980 that the famous London landmark would be given a digital facelift to keep up with the times. As part of the announcement, the BBC was offering up the clock’s gigantic hands to the first listener to call in.

Richard Branson Buys Pluto....

Billionaire and wannabee astronaut, Richard Branson, showed his soft spot for Pluto in 2011 by announcing that he had bought the forgotten planet and was reinstating it in the solar system.

From Virgin’s press release: “Virgin has expanded into many territories over the years but we have never had our own planet before. This could pave the way for a new age in space tourism.”

Have you been sucked in by any of these classics?

1 comment :

  1. It's so funny that you posted the Left Handed Whopper story, as I was behind publishing this story in the UK! I even developed an on-paper design showing how the sesame seeds had been scattered on the bun around a left-hander, to maximise their first bite! Thnx for highlighting that April Fools story - a funny trip down memory lane!