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Towers, bollards and 99p coins: How the regional press marked April Fool’s Day

It may not have fallen on a weekday this year, but the regional press wasn’t deterred from marking April Fool’s Day on Saturday.

Blackpool-based daily The Gazette’s masthead features the resort’s famous tower, and it was the landmark that inspired its prank.

Reporter ‘Poppy Cox’ revealed plans to double the height of the venue, with a rooftop swimming pool forming part of the design.

However, The Gazette also noted proposals to create the world’s longest tightrope from the tower to Blackpool’s South Pier had attracted criticism from environmental campaigners Greenlives, who fear it will be a danger to seagulls.

Blackpool fool

In neighbouring Preston, the Gazette’s sister daily the Lancashire Post went with plans on a smaller scale, revealing a traffic bollard in Preston was set to become a 6ft piece of public art.

According to the Post, renowned road engineer Mickey Taik, who has previously worked on a project in the Turkish city of Asif, had been drafted in to advise on the plans.

Over the Pennines, the Huddersfield Daily Examiner claimed plans were afoot to build a toll road above the M62 – featuring quotes from Philip Rankster, Joe King and Flora Plio – an anagram of April Fool.

Another fictitious building project tricked readers of Chronicle Live, the online arm of Newcastle-based dailies The Chronicle and The Journal.

The website told how a bid to turn the Tyne Bridge Towers into student accommodation has been launched by a mysterious group of European developers.

The Liverpool Echo landed an exclusive interview with local man ‘Wynn Dup’, inventor of the 99p coin, which it said was due to come into circulation this summer.

The fictional Mr Dup told the Echo: “Coming up with design of the first 99p coin is my biggest achievement since I caught a red herring in the River Mersey in 1981.”

And, in Essex, readers of county-wide website Essex Live had “rejoiced” after it said the nation’s biggest Burger King would be built in Chelmsford.

However, the site later admitted to the hoax – admitting the fast food chain has no plans to open in the city after shutting up shop there four years ago.


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  • April 3, 2017 at 1:41 pm

    In other news, an open letter has been published in hundreds of titles, urging advertisers to keep it local and not risk their brands appearing online next to ‘fake news’.

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  • April 4, 2017 at 10:56 am

    I find it cringeworthy in the extreme when publishers feel they’re being funny by running unfunny and clearly April fools stories, it’s become so embarrassing that I’m sure most people await them to see just how uncreative and desperate the editors will be, some seemingly spending more time in these than more factual local stories.
    The 1970s, when people bought papers and believed everything in them, have long gone,so do us all a favour and concentrate on a more profession local news service and leave the ‘ comedy’ To those paid to entertain us

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