April Fool’s Day 2019: the best online pranks and hoaxes

Plenty of online pranks took place this morning on April Fools Day
Plenty of online pranks took place this morning on April Fools Day
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Bemused people across Britain were met with news of smelly food fines, spreadable tea and a stripy shirt ban this morning.

But after a few puzzled moments scrolling through social media, it will have dawned on most that it is April Fool’s Day.

From companies to news outlets and universities to police, pranksters across the country have been sharing hoax stories in an effort to trick the public into believing some outrageous things.

Here is a list of some of the standouts which had people fooled this morning.

Brexit was a popular topic

Brexit was high on people’s minds when thinking up their bogus news, with reports that the UK would be forced out of Eurovison after it left the European Union, according to the Daily Express.

Clothing retailer Boden also took Brexit as its theme, announcing that it has had its ‘license’ revoked to make Breton striped shirts thanks to the withdrawal from the EU. The company, which popularised the tops in the UK, said that anybody caught wearing the style in the UK could be fined up to 1000 euros. They even advertised a ‘Bret-off’ stripe removal service to help those with the “now-illegal” clothes.

Fake fines were threatened for those who eat smelly food on public transport. British Transport Police claimed that they were to slap anybody caught eating “stinky sandwiches or smelly snacks” with a charge of up to £2,000.

Other police forces got involved with the day, too. Cambridge Police Force announced that they had recruited a drugs-sniffing bunny.

Half-and-half football shirts

Meanwhile, The Sportsman advertised half-and-half Manchester United and Manchester City football shirts. The brand claimed that there was demand for the shirts due to the fact that everybody in Manchester would rather any Manchester team won the Premier League rather than Liverpool.

The International Cricket Council also rattled the cages of sports fans, suggesting that they were to oust the traditional toss as the way to decide who bats first. Instead they said they were going to introduce a Twitter poll and let fans decide.

Alongside this, the ICC said they would be putting players’ Twitter handles on the backs of shirts to further encourage fan engagement online.

In the news

Hoax news articles have been as popular as ever.

The Star in Sheffield claimed that any potential playoff final between Sheffield United and Sheffield Wednesday had been ruled out by EFL due to the fact that previous meetings between the two sides had been too boring.

Also in Sheffield, the university announced that it was to extend its famously-tall arts building by 10 floors, therefore making it the tallest building of its kind in the world. They announced plans to include tanning salons and an aviary in the fictional extension.

The Scotsman reported that Nicola Sturgeon’s Bute home was available to rent on AirBnB. It reported that the decision had been made to help pay for major refurbishments to the Charlotte Square Mansion.

Prank products

A number of companies also excited or appalled fans with ridiculous new products which they claimed would soon be available.

Yorkshire Tea announced a spreadable version of their famous product, enabling fans to eat their favourite drink on toast alongside their morning cuppa.

Sainsbury’s weighed in with promises of pink avocados, and Cadbury and Heinz announced an Easter special collaboration in Creme Egg Mayonnaise.