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Spoofs on goats, flumes and bricks as daily goes April Fool crazy

No less than three April Fool’s Day stories were published by a regional daily in an attempt to catch out their readers this morning.

The Oxford Mail ran articles including a city council decision to sell off bricks and rubble from a demolished multi-storey car park as souvenirs, complete with video of a councillor urging readers to claim their own “piece of history”.

Other spoofs published by the Mail included residents of Bicester’s eco-town being given goats to trim their gardens following a ban on lawn mowers, and plans to build a log flume through the heart of Oxford as part of a flood defence scheme.

Elsewhere the Croydon Advertiser ran a story about plans to make a film based on a carnival organised by UKIP in the town last year, starring Michael Sheen and Jamie Foxx. It also speculated that Oscar winner Eddie Redmayne was in the frame to play Advertiser chief reporter Gareth Davies in the movie.

Croydon Advertiser chief reporter Gareth Davies, pictured left, and Eddie Redmayne on the red carpet

Lookalikes? Croydon Advertiser chief reporter Gareth Davies, and actor Eddie Redmayne on the red carpet

Meanwhile the Swindon Advertiser carried rumours Mancunian rock band Oasis, who are reputed to have taken their name from a leisure centre in the town, would play a reunion gig there.

Advertiser reporter and Manchester native Craig Jones was quoted as saying the town would be a popular choice for the concert as it is “every Mancunian’s favourite train stop”.

Newcastle title The Chronicle announced it had launched a new app called ‘Geordify’, which allows non-natives of the area to translate their speech into the traditional local dialect.

Its sister daily The Journal revealed plans to transform a statue of former Prime Minster Earl Grey in the city into a bar called Club Monument, pictured below.


The Derbyshire Times went with news that a woman from Chesterfield had bought the UK’s first ‘cog’ (a half-cat, half-dog), a claim which also appeared in Johnston Press stablemate the Mansfield Chad – which reported the cog’s owner as coming from Nottinghamshire.

The Times also unveiled plans to erect a 30-foot bronze statue in honour of James Bond actor Timothy Dalton in his hometown of Belper, with several of the town’s streets also being renamed in homage.

On the subject of statues, the Western Telegraph ran a similar story on its website – leading one reader to question whether taxpayers would be expected to fund a new 12-foot Batman monument in honour of Haverfordwest-born actor Christian Bale.

The Liverpool Echo shared video footage (shot by reader Wyn Dup) of a great white shark swimming in the River Mersey, while the Birmingham Mail offered images of an escaped elephant on the loose in the city centre.

The Worcester News announced police would be taking up positions on the peaks of the Malvern Hills in order to get a better view of criminal activity taking place, while in Scotland the Strathspey and Badenoch Herald unveiled “revolutionary” new goldfish tracking technology.

Another animal story saw the Kirkintilloch Herald claim a remake of 101 Dalmations using spotted rabbits was to filmed on its patch.

In environmental news, Rutland Times reporter Lori Polaf (an anagram of ‘April Fool’) wrote that a series of recent earthquakes in England’s smallest county were due to possible volcanic activity.

The Plymouth Herald revealed a prefectly presserved 2,000-year-old pasty had been found on an island on the River Tamar, exactly on the Devon Cornwall border.

Finally Luton News editor Lynn Hughes took to Twitter to stress that its splash, pictured below, about a thief who broke the eighth commandment by running off from a tattoo parlour without paying for the image of Christ which had just been inked on to his body, was not an April Fool.

Luton April


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  • April 1, 2015 at 6:50 pm

    Read somewhere that Newsquest were going to give staff a pay rise!
    Oh yes..whose the fool!!

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  • April 2, 2015 at 10:18 am

    At the Local World centre I am fortunate enough to work for, which has been one-fifth down on non-replaced staff in my section for months, it was confirmed on April 1 that no, there was no more scope for any time off over Easter (so working Friday, Sunday and Monday as normal, then); yes, we were still having more and more supplements, feature pages and a new magazine thrown at us; but hey, we were getting an Easter egg as a gift from the company because apparently it has the money to waste on chocolate but not even a day’s extra freelance help. Oh, how we laughed at this spoof. Except, of course, the joke’s on us as it is, unbelieveably, true.

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