A weekly newspaper was temporarily removed from the shelves after an apparent malicious hoax over its Margaret Thatcher splash.
The Croydon Advertiser led Friday’s edition with an exclusive interview with her former press secretary Sir Bernard Ingham, who now lives in the area.
However it had to be taken off the shelves after a hoax caller going under the name ‘Joanna Lumley’ phoned newsagents posing as a member of newspaper staff.
The caller claimed there was a legal problem with the story and requested that it be removed from sale immediately.
As a result the Advertiser was taken off the shelves in a number of newsagents including WHSmith, plus seven supermarkets around the town.
While the issue was being resolved, editor Glenn Ebrey took to Twitter to reassure readers that the paper was still for sale, and a story went up on the paper’s website to explain they were being targeted by a “malicious third party.”
Said Glenn: Someone appears to have it in for us and is trying to get our papers taken off the shelves, but I’m very keen to make all Croydon vendors aware that these calls are not coming from us,” he said.
“I’ve been in journalism for almost a decade but never heard of anything like this before.
“It started with one call from a newsagent, but soon became clear a number of shops had been targeted. Then, came the Joanna Lumley bombshell.
“There is no issue with the paper – legal or otherwise – and it continues to be on sale throughout Croydon. What’s more, it’s a cracking read.”