The best and worst April Fools' Day stories from around the UK

Sunday, 1st April 2018, 09:50 am
Updated Sunday, 1st April 2018, 10:21 am

In the era of fake news it's trickier than ever to sniff out pranks from mischievous news outlets and business marketing teams.

We've donned are deerstalkers and tracked down the best and worst prank articles and press releases from around the UK.

The Observer: tech start-up launch range of Brexit themed emojis

The Observer got in on the act bright and early, posting at 00.04 that an Italian based tech company were creating a pair of Brexit themed emojis.

A cigar chomping canine known as Brexit Bulldog was drafted up to represent Leave supporters, while a star-eyed, beret-wearing smiley face was presented as the emoji of choice for remain supporters.

The article alleged that unnamed MPs had labelled the icons as "divisive and dangerous".

Brexit and Remain emojis condemned as ‘divisive and dangerous’ . The remain emoji is hilarious 😂 #aprilfoolsday https://t.co/M2XhehkIXv

— Bill (@offdutybilll) April 1, 2018

A "former employee" outlined the Italian company's motives and target market: “You’ve got the Remainers, the Brexiters and the Russian trolls. Some senior managers believe there are enough fake accounts on Twitter alone to make it the break-out app of the year. Our focus groups also showed that there were people who would use the emoji because they just want someone to tell them what Brexit means.”

The story was deemed believable by BBC Breakfast who dedicated several minutes of their screen time to discussing the controversial emblems.

The Mail on Sunday: Harry to celebrate stag night in yurt

Meanwhile, the Mail on Sunday opted for a royal wedding themed prank, claiming that Prince Harry was to celebrate his stag night in a yurt.

The article alleged that bride-to-be Meghan Markle had organised a £750 a night experience for the red-haired royal in felt covered yurts within a stone circle in the Brecon Beacons. The camp is run by Markle's friends Mungo Chavez and Jetsun Khandro who are both masters in Reiki.

The paper spoke to a friend of Markle's who was quoted as saying: "Meghan wants Harry to spend the weekend getting grounded, not inebriated. She thinks a weekend of meditation and chakra-cleansing in Wales will fit the bill perfectly."

The Sun on Sunday: referees to use Virtual reality headsets at Russia 2018

Riffing off the debate on the implementation of VAR technology, the Sun on Sunday made the bold claim that referees would make the use of virtual reality headsets to officiate the upcoming World Cup.

Refs to wear £5k VAR headsets at the World Cup. @RefereeHalsey says...“This is a real game-changer." - https://t.co/L5t7oJmpEt

— Phil Cadden (@pjcadden) April 1, 2018

The £5,000 technology would be worn by referees to prevent the slow down caused by the officials exiting the pitch to review important decisions.

According to "FIFA spokesperson" Avril Blague: "The trials proved this headset is the future for VAR."

The Independent: chocolate flavoured mayonnaise

With April Fool's falling on Easter Sunday it wasn't surprising that the Independent opted for a theme tied to the Christian holiday.

According to the website, food giant Heinz were releasing chocolate mayonnaise to celebrate the holiday.

A spokesperson for Heinz was quoted as saying:

“It’s hard to improve on perfection, but we think we might have done it,” said a Heinz spokesperson.

“Mayonnaise? Seriously good! Chocolate? Really good! Chocolate Mayonnaise? Scrumptious perfection!

“We have noticed the trend for using mayonnaise in place of eggs and oil in chocolate cakes, brownies and tarts closely over the last few years, and creating Heinz [Seriously] Good Chocolate Mayonnaise seemed like the logical focus for the culinary creators of our [Seriously] Good range."

First 4 Lawyers: zombie insurance

This prank didn't get past anyone.

As the latest season of The Walking Dead comes to a close (yes, it's still going) First 4 Lawyers decided to offer zombie insurance to their customers.

These guys are in dire need of zombie insurance (Photo: AMC)

Parodying their own calls for personal justice, the injury and accident claims company jested: "if you've suffered a Zombie attack then they need to pay the price - they are not above the law.

"We will chase down the evidence (they're not known for their speed) and bring the whole nasty business to a swift conclusion on your behalf. "

Pot Noodle: two minute delivery

In the era of Deliveroo and Just Eat, Pot Noodle opted to prank customers by claiming they could deliver one of their potted snacks in under two minutes, via their new app.

The launch of an emergency app would allow the hungry and hungover to enjoy a Bombay Badboy without having to leave their sofa.

Pot Noodle launch 'Pot NOWdle', a new app that delivers Pot Noodles to users in two minutes or less.#AprilFools pic.twitter.com/kILqNHVBXg

— Andrew Bloch (@AndrewBloch) April 1, 2018

Argos: USB-powered perfume

Argos also opted for an unbelievable story, claiming that they had launched a USB-powered perfume which smells just like their famed catalogue.

The "Eau de Catalogue" was released for nostalgic online shoppers longing for the smell of the shopping magazine.

Miss the smell of our #ArgosCatalogue? We’ve created a USB-powered scent diffuser - so all you online shoppers can still enjoy the fresh aroma of printed paper! #EauDeCatalogue pic.twitter.com/c52bmuDdvB

— Argos (@Argos_Online) April 1, 2018

Tough Mudder: puppy race

The long-distance assault course organisers revealed the launch of a canine-themed race.

Tough Mudder announced that puppies would race alongside baby counterparts over death-defying obstacles in their cuteness-filled video.