In an era of fake news, we should probably all be reading things with a more sceptical eye.

That is especially true on 1 April, when newspapers, companies and social media comics try to trick us all with jokes and pranks. 

Here are some of the best prank stories that we spotted throughout the morning.

Live Updates

1 day ago

Good morning and welcome to our April Fool’s Day round-up. We’ll bring you the best jokes and pranks out there as we try not to fall prey to the real fake news…

1 day ago

Google has marked April Fool’s Day by incorporating Where’s Wally? (or Waldo, for our American readers) into its maps. 

In a game playable on desktop, iOS and Android, users can search for Wally and his signature red-and-white stripes in real locations around the world. 

 

1 day ago

A strong effort the European Parliament’s UK office (that bastion of comedy) might have had a few Brexiteers choking on their full English breakfasts this morning:  

1 day ago

Brexit looms large over April Fool’s Day in the UK this year.

The Observer brings us the news that MPs have condemned plans to create official Leave and Remain emojis as “divisive and dangerous”.

The new characters – a Brexit bulldog clad in Union Jack hat and starry-eyed, beret-wearing EU supporter – are part of plans by an Italian tech firm to cash in on the political debate, the newspaper claims.

“Nobody who campaigned in the referendum wanted to give shadowy organisations the chance to exploit British voters,” the furious “MPs” are quoted as saying. “Brexit is far too serious a matter for foolish jokes.”

1 day ago

The Sunday Telegraph reports that EU officials are drawing up secret plans for a new “bateau de commerce” to help secure post-Brexit trade deals.

The new ship – modelled on Royal Yacht Britannia and dubbed “le trade yacht” – will ferry key European Commission figures to trade negotiations as the EU tries to rebuild its own ties with non-EU countries after Britain leaves, we are told.

 

 

1 day ago

Prince Harry will be “drinking laverbread smoothies and engaging in pre-dawn ancient Celtic chanting” during his stag weekend “at a spiritual yurt retreat in the valleys of West Wales”, claims the Mail on Sunday.

The newspaper reports the royal has “chosen to forgo vigorous rounds of strip billiards in favour of having his chakras realigned”, in a sign that he is under the “very new-age thumb” of his fiancee Meghan Markle.

 

1 day ago

“Revolutionary” VAR headsets will be used by referees at the World Cup in Russia, claims a football “exclusive” in the Sun on Sunday.

The £5,000 gadgets will employ virtual reality to allow officials to see replays instantly on a 3D screen, speeding up decisions, we are told.

 

1 day ago

Coca-Cola is to launch three new flavours of its sugar-free Zero brand, claims the Sunday Mirror.

The avocado, sourdough and charcoal flavoured soft drinks have been conceived to appeal to the “brunch-loving, superfood-snacking millenial”, the newspaper says.

1 day ago

The Independent also has an April Fool’s Day story somewhere on its website… but we’ll let you find that one for yourselves.

1 day ago

1 April is traditionally a day of eyebrow-raising product launches, and this year is no different. And with April Fool’s Day falling on Easter Sunday, there is plenty of chocolate about.

Burger King have apparently unveiled a new chocolate Whopper. According to the advert, the burger comprises of a “flame-grilled chocolate patty”, topped with candied blood oranges, raspberry syrup and vanilla frosting, in a chocolate cake bun. Which, unless you’re a dentist, doesn’t actually sound that bad.

 

1 day ago

Condiment doyens Heinz also bring us news of a supposed new product, just in time for Easter.

Their new “chocolate mayonnaise” would be ideal spread on toast, added to cake batter, or paired with roast lamb, apparently.

In related news, I feel a little queasy. 

 

1 day ago

The EU is planning to field a team at this summer’s World Cup in shock show of solidarity against Russia, the Huffington Post tells us.

Belgium, the home of the EU, offered to sacrifice its place in the tournament to make room for the elite squad of players selected from member states, the website reports.

Tottenham-supporting Brexiteers will be no doubt be particularly alarmed to read that Harry Kane could line up for the EU against England… 

 

1 day ago

Scandinavian homeware retailer Clas Ohlson brings another product launch announcement – bottles of fresh “Swedish air”.

Featuring a “classically Swedish design” and bottled in the area surrounding Insjön, Clas Ohlson’s founding town, the product will apparently allow British customers to “breathe like a Swede”.

It will be on sale for £1.04, of course.

 

1 day ago

West Yorkshire Police have deployed a tough new crime-fighting recruit this Easter Sunday. 

1 day ago

Following the very silly furore about plans for the UK’s blue passports to be manufactured in France, the Daily Express brings further troubling news for irate Brexiteers. 

It seems our friends across the Channel have now also got their hands on another national icon, Big Ben, which the newspaper reports is to repaired by a Parisian bell-making company during the refurbishment of the Palace of Westminster.

 

1 day ago

The world’s first meme has been discovered during during excavation work at the Royal Albert Hall, according to the venue.

A remarkable collection of artifacts buried by Queen Victoria in 1867 was apparently found in a time capsule.

The “treasure trove” included a penny, an empty jar of Bovril and a picture of two contemporary gentleman printed with the word “WHENCE?”

The artwork “has been verified by the British Library as the world’s first ever meme”, claims the Hall.

Archivist Liz Harper said: “This kind of shareable, framed content shows a side of the Victorians frequently neglected by historians, and reveals just how much we have in common with our ancestors. They had their own gifs and Instagram stories, it’s just that theirs didn’t move and could only be shown to one person at a time.

“The ‘Whence meme’ would have served much the same purpose as ‘new phone, who dis?’ and ‘white guy blinking’ do for nerds nowadays.”

The venue adds that a Dire Straits VHS also discovered during the work is “believed to have been added to the capsule at a later date”.

 

1 day ago

MPs are calling for April Fool’s Day to be banned, reports The Overtake, The website has gone meta with some cautionary tales about the dangers of this annual celebration of fake news.

A hunter who who fell to his death while looking for polar bears reportedly spotted in Scotland is among the tragic supposed victims of misinformation, while a fake advert for Polo mints without the hole apparently set in motion a train of events that ultimately led to the “most destructive and self-owning prank” – Brexit.

1 day ago

That’s enough fake news for this year – we’re wrapping up this blog.

We leave with you The Independent‘s own April Fool story, which reported that Twitter-loving US president Donald Trump had sensationally quit the social media platform. Did we catch you out? 

Donald Trump stuns Twitter by announcing he’s leaving

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