If you are stuck for ideas for some April Fools Day tomfoolery, pranking and jackanapery for tomorrow, I have trawled the internet for some inspiration! Here are a few of my historical favourites…(make sure you check out the penguins video)
April Fool 1981– The Manchester Guardian reported that Dr Chisholm-Downright, a scientist at a Pershore research laboratory had “developed a machine to control the weather.” Entitled “Britain Rules the Skies,” the article advised we would “gain the immediate benefit of long summers, with rainfall only at night, and the Continent will have whatever Pershore decides to send it.” there were also assurances that snow would appear every Christmas! The photo next to the article showed a slightly dishevelled scientist with the following caption: “Dr. Chisholm-Downright expresses quiet satisfaction as a computer printout announced sunshine in Pershore and a forthcoming blizzard over Marseilles.”
April Fool 1976 – Intended more as a parody of a published theory entitled ‘the Jupiter Effect’, national treasure Sir Patrick Moore made an announcement on the BBC that an incredible astronomical event was due to occur at exactly 9.47am on the first of April. He advised, during a live interview on BBC2, that the alignment of Pluto and Jupiter would affect the Earths gravity and that if listeners jumped at that exact moment they would briefly experience weightlessness. Perhaps unsurprisingly on the stroke of 9:47 listeners began to call BBC2 to describe the sensation, some even describing inanimate objects floating around!
April Fool 1997 – An email announced that the internet would be closed for cleaning from 31st March to the 2nd April in order to clear out the ‘digital flotsam and jetsam’. The message was supposed to have originated from the “Massachusetts Institute of Technology.”
April Fool 1998 – An announcement that Guinness and the Old Royal Observatory in Greenwich had agreed that Greenwich Mean Time up until the eve of the millennium would be referred to as Guinness Mean Time. The Financial Times however failed to spot that this was an April Fools and stated that they felt that Guinness had adopted a ‘brash tone for the millennium’. (they of course printed an apology once they realised they had missed the joke!)
April Fool 2002 – In 2002 Tesco joined in the fun with their announcement that they had produced a carrot which when cooked would whistle having been developed with special air holes in it.
April Fool 2008 (My favourite by miles!)
Terry Jones of Monty Python made a short movie about an amazing discovery made whilst filming for the BBC natural history series Miracles of Evolution. Camera crews had allegedly captured incredible footage of Adélie penguins flying. Watch it here, it is wonderful!
Spaghetti – Of course, one of the most celebrated of all April Fools, and widely believed to be the first time television was used in such a way in the UK – the annual Spaghetti Harvest in Ticino, Switzerland. You can the rather grainy black and white footage here
So please do enjoy the above but most of all try to endure any nonsense tomorrow may bring with a smile!