The Best Of The Morning’s April Fool’s Day Gags

Hedwig, North Yorkshire post-owl.

Hedwig, North Yorkshire post-owl.

This is the worst day of the year if your job is to basically find out what other people are talking about, and then report it back to other people, who might not have known about that stuff in the first place.

April Fool’s Day is the day when British news sources turn from being a little bit overindulgent with the supposition and stingy with the facts, into fully functional fibmatons: making up implausible stories to fool the public.

And there have been TONS this year, everything from a new Doctor in Doctor Who to a playground slide around the outside of a skyscraper.

Here’s a selection:

• The Daily Mail claims that that the staff at Kirkleatham Owl Centre in North Yorkshire have trained their owls to deliver the internal mail – just like at Hogwarts.

• BBC Radio 4’s Today programme reported that from today, Northern Rail is replacing train numbers with barcodes, like QR codes, so that trainspotters can download information about the train they’ve just seen, and upload their collections to the internet, using smartphones.

• Google has been having a field day, making the announcement that YouTube will be closing down, will no longer accept videos, and will be selecting the best video ever uploaded onto the site.

• Not to be outdone, Twitter claims that it will be charging for the use of vowels, to encourage even more compressed micro-blogging (although the letter ‘y’ will be free of charge).

• The Telegraph has a story that claims Sir Cameron Mackintosh is putting on The Coalition – the Musical, which he believes has the potential to be his biggest hit since Les Misérables.

The show is said to have been devised by the German composer and lyricist Olaf Dyliparos, who is quoted as saying, “It focuses very much on the relationship between David Cameron and Nick Clegg and it has a big, operatic feel to it – I mean, it’s a sort of love story that’s gone wrong.”

• Richard Branson, the founder of the Virgin Group, posted on his blog that Virgin Atlantic Airways will soon be offering a glass-bottomed plane service from London to Scotland.

• Hotels.com announced that from today, its customers will be able to book the Belgian Suite in Buckingham Palace, which has played host to President Obama, and former President Ronald Reagan, at a cost of $20,000 or thereabouts. Butler service is extra.

• And the Huffington Post reports that the Shard in London will soon be converted into a terrifying helter-skelter ride, called the Shlide.

• In Cornwall, the local news website This Is Cornwall ran a story claiming that the iconic Land’s End, which is the bit right at the very toe end of the island of Great Britain, and the opposite corner of the country to John O’Groats way up in the North East of Scotland, is to be renamed Land’s Start, as it’s the point from which so many cross-country charity races start.

Look, they even did a picture:

Land's Start

• Meanwhile Be The Red Carpet is running a report that says the BBC have announced Robert Pattinson has signed up to be the Twelfth Doctor in Doctor Who.

• Clash Music had a report that David Bowie was opening an exotic pet shop, called Spiders From Mars.

• But the prankster prize must surely go to Metro, who put up a fake list of other media outlets’ April Fool’s gags (it’s really good too, do read it). And then admitted it:

Metro april fool's gag

Fraser McAlpine

Fraser has been writing and broadcasting about music and popular culture for over 15 years, first at the Top of the Pops website, and most recently for the NME, Guardian and MSN. He also wrote BBC Radio 1's Chart Blog and reviews albums for BBC Radio 2.

He is Anglophenia's current resident Brit, blogging about British slang and running around the Mall taking snaps of the crowd at the Royal Wedding, as well as reigniting a childhood passion for classic Doctor Who and cramming as much music in as he can manage.

Fraser invites you to join him on Twitter: @csi_popmusic

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