A regional daily’s story about a giant sausage sculpture being erected by a motorway was not an April Fool, the company behind the plans has confirmed.
Northern Echo local democracy reporter Stuart Minting reported this morning how local food manufacturer Heck planned a giant ‘Sausage of the North’ landmark sculpture “as tall as Big Ben” to be built by the side of the A1 (M).
But, while the story’s publication this morning prompted a number of readers to comment online that it was an April Fool, Heck has confirmed this afternoon that it will be submitting a planning application to Hambleton District Council over the matter.
Jamie Keeble, the company’s co-founder confirmed the story’s veracity at midday.
He said: “Everyone was convinced it was an April Fool. But I can confirm that we are definitely going ahead.
“As we are a democracy at Heck, we ran an online poll to see if our fans thought we should do it, and we definitely got the thumbs up.
“What better way to celebrate Yorkshire food than with a giant sausage.”
Jo Kelly, the Echo’s deputy head of content, told HTFP: “We did fear the wurst, but we were assured by the company that this was not an April Fool.
“We have excellent relationships with businesses on our patch, so we trusted that they were not telling porkies and presented it as a genuine story.”
The Echo also ran a spoof April Fool story this morning, which revealed Darlington-based company Cleveland Bridge was finalising plans for a bridge connecting Kent to Belgium, in order to “counter fears of post-Brexit log-jam” affecting the UK’s main south coast entry points of Dover to Calais.
The sea bridge was said to be similar in design to one called ‘El Tonto de Abril’, which crosses the vast River Plate estuary between Punta Indio, in Argentina, and Montevideo, Uruguay.
The story quoted Kafe Linzipe, an anagram of ‘fake zipline’, who was purported to be the founder of a company called ‘Faril-Polo’, an anagram of ‘April Fool’.
And Wales Online’s Reach plc sister website My London announced that the Duchess of Sussex is set to give birth at Croydon University Hospital, claiming she and Prince Harry had been “blown away” by its facilities.
Editorial manager Colin Channon was quoted as saying: “Families can sit around the table reading bits of the paper, and then turn it around as they finish the story.
“We think it could revolutionise the way people read newspapers.”
* Did you spot any regional press April Fool’s? Let us know on firstname.lastname@example.org or via @journalism_news on Twitter.