AC

Is this the best April Fool’s ever?

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On 1 April 1957, the BBC current affairs programme Panorama hoaxed the nation with a report about the annual spaghetti harvest.

The report showed farmers apparently picking spaghetti from trees and laying the strands out to dry. BBC reporter Richard Dimbleby was in on the joke and his authority lent credence to the ruse.

Michael Peacock, the editor who commissioned the film, recalls how his team came up with the idea and kept it secret before broadcasting to a credulous audience.

Among those hoaxed included the then-BBC Director General, Sir Ian Jacob. The reaction to the film was huge. Newspapers were split over whether this was a great joke or a terrible hoax on the public.

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