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Funnies File: Chips are down as silly season begins

August has begun and the ‘silly season’ is already well under way in the world of journalism, with some prime examples already starting to emerge.

‘Is this the biggest chip in Gloucestershire?’ demands the headline on a story in Gloucester daily The Citizen.

It told the tale of a pub diner who was so awed by the sheer volume of fried potato she was presented with she felt obliged to capture it on camera and e-mail it in to the paper.

A rather baffling decision considering the chip is not actually altogether that large.

What’s more, the paper has decided to run with the theme and published a follow-up after asking readers to send in their own ‘giant chip’ pictures.

Many readers have taken to the comment section to complain about the story.

One comment labels it “banal”, while another simply said: “Rubbish.”

A rival pub has even commented to say its chips are regularly much larger than the effort snapped for this story.

But it has proven a hit with readers, racking up 20,000 unique visitors within a week.

Citizen editor Jenny Eastwood said: “The story started out as a post on twitter by a reporter who casually tweeted about the size of a chip in a pub in Gloucestershire and it was uploaded to our site simply as a bit of fun to encourage light hearted debate.

“But the story has simply grown and grown in terms of hits to both gloucestercitizen.co.uk and gloucestershireecho.co.uk.”

Gloucestershire Echo editor Kevan Blackadder added: “Granted, the story has received some negative reaction on the sites referring to it not being proper news but it was never supposed to be.

“Despite the critics, it is still being clicked on by thousands daily and we have even been sent some pictures of bigger chips which have since gone on the sites as well.”

Elsewhere, the Carmarthen Journal reports a chicken crossing a road

…while the Central Somerset Gazette reassured readers that should the zombie apocalypse come, their local police force was prepared.

Other ‘silly season’ stories in the past have included the tale of a custard shortage published in the Whitstable Times, and another about a town council in Wales – run by the South Wales Evening Post – which had decided to stack its tables differently.

* Spotted any other ‘silly season’ stories? Send them in to: editor@htfp.co.uk