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Friday 1 April 2011

April Fools – Not What They Used To Be

It’s the first morning of April. You know what’s coming, whether from family and friends, or any part of the media. So, what’s on offer this year? Well, there are some amusing April Fools scattered around the papers, but the problem is, they’re a teensy bit obvious.

Take the Maily Telegraph example, with its “Labour memo: celebrate Ed Miliband’s wedding with street party” headline, another duty for Harry Wallop (crazy name, crazy guy!?!). Any thought that readers might suspend disbelief is swept away by the daft idea that Labour activists would do “trifles and bunting”. One to wallop into touch.

The Dacre hackery over at the Daily Mail has no truck with mere politicians, but the duff story is no less obvious: the piece, “Potato Earth: Gravity satellite reveals what our planet REALLY looks like”, which suggests that gravity “varies” on different parts of the planet, has some colourful illustrations, but it’s obvious codology.

The Super Soaraway Currant Bun tries a little humour with the equally obvious “Police quiz boy, 13, over assault with marshmallow”, but the unintentional laughs come from the comments, including the priceless “no, this is not an April Fools”. Fraid it is, folks. Must try harder.

A much better effort has been made by the Guardian, with its sudden apparent conversion to supporting the royals. The “Royal Wedding Live” piece includes a spoof “diary” from the Duke of Edinburgh, which really is funny. But the paper’s editorial line is well enough known to figure out that this story is another for the morning of April the First, and no further.

Maybe it’s because we know what’s coming that April Fool stories seem less good as the years go by, or maybe the bar was raised so high by the 1957 BBC Panorama “spaghetti harvest” that nobody is going to pull a credible stunt in the future, and especially in a mere newspaper.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I think the problem is that the newspapers produce so much that is wilfully untrue or mindless nonsense (I'm looking at yesterday's cover for the Daily Express as a start off point). April Fools Day should be the one day of the year in which they actually resort to proper journalism.