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From a Boris Johnson postage stamp to 30cm biscuits: the best gags from this year's April Fool's Day

In the era of fake news, this year has shown that the possibilities for a gag are as strong as ever.

Commemorative Brexit stamps
Commemorative Brexit stamps
Image: Isobel

IN THE ERA of fake news and the ongoing descent of politics into farce, it can be harder and harder to distinguish real stories from April Fool’s jokes.

This morning, readers of TheJournal.ie woke up to a headline suggesting Theresa May was set to appear on Eastenders to address the nation about Brexit – which would hardly seem outlandish in light of some stories that have come out of the UK recently.

In fact, one might be led to think that April Fool’s jokes could be on the way out, but if anything, this year has shown the possibilities are as strong as ever.

Here are ten of this year’s best efforts from Ireland and abroad.

Three more Luke Kelly statues – Irish Daily Mail

In January, Dubliners got to celebrate one of their most iconic sons, when not one, but two Luke Kelly statues were unveiled in the capital.

For its gag, The Irish Daily Mail claimed that a further €10m had been allocated for three more bronze statues of the singer.

The newspaper quoted Fine Gael TD Noel Rock, who said he wanted one of the statues to be located in Santry, on the north of the city, and also claimed other cities were seeking Luke Kelly statues of their own, including Newcastle, Auckland, New York and Cork.

Bend in The Spire – Dublin Chamber

Business group Dublin Chamber issued a press release expressing concern over an increasingly prominent bend in The Spire on Dublin’s O’Connell Street.

The group claimed it had received numerous from concerned local businesses about the issue, which it believed was the result of very strong winds.

The story was (knowingly) picked up by a number of news outlets, including The Irish Mirror.

Alien skulls found on Irish coast – Dun Laoghaire Coast Guard

Dun Laoghaire Coast Guard also got in on the act, claiming that gardaí were tasked to Dun Laoghaire’s inner harbour after the discovery two alien skulls in low water.

The group claimed that one of the skulls had washed out to sea by the time they arrived, but that the second was recovered by the Coast Guard Unit, as the RNLI searched for the missing one.

Alien skull Source: Facebook/Dun Laoghaire Coast Guard

Clocks go forward again - The Sun

Meanwhile, The Irish Sun capitalised on the move to summer time in Ireland over the weekend.

The aptly named paper said a landmark European Parliament meant thta clocks would go forward again this week, despite recent EU studies claiming that changing the clocks twice a year was damaging to health and energy.

Bob Geldof as a “healing tsar” – The Guardian

There was no shortage of Brexit-related material for April Fool’s this year, either here or across the water.

The Guardian claimed that singer Bob Geldof was being considered as a “healing tsar” for country amid its ongoing political woes.

One insider was quotes as promoting Geldof’s credentials saying that because the Dubliner had brought the country together with Live Aid, he could do it again.

Commemorative Brexit stamps – Isobel

News companies weren’t the only ones to capitalise on the ongoing madness surrounding Brexit.

Branding company Isobel said it had commissioned a book of Brexit stamps, including images of Theresa May, Nigel Farage, Jacob Rees-Mogg and Boris Johnson, which it claimed had to be pulled.

Brexit stamps Source: Twitter/@IsobelCreative

April Fool’s banned – The Daily Telegraph

The Daily Telegraph went for a wider news approach for its joke.

The paper claimed that all British April Fools’ gags would be banned from next year because the public could no longer differentiate between “reality and farce”.

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It claimed a statute from 1653, reportedly banning the issuing of false reports, would be used enforce the law.

Martin Brennan for Sligo County Council – The Irish Daily Star

The Irish Daily Star capitalised on recent satire by Steve Coogan, using a character who appeared on Alan Partridge’s fictitious BBC programme This Time singing rebel songs.

The paper claimed that up to 50 people had signed a petition calling for Martin Brennan, who sang Come Out Ye Black and Tans and the Men Behind the Wire at the close of the show, to run for local elections in Sligo.

Foot-long shortbread – Walker’s Shortbread

Biscuit company Walker’s were also among those to get in on the act.

The company claimed it had produced an “innovative new edition” to its shortbread fingers range: pure butter tallbread, 30cm in length.

The biscuit – three times longer than the original – claimed to ensure that “even the loftiest of biscuit lovers are left satisfied”.

Shortbread

James Comey 2020 – James Comey

The former FBI director hinted in a cryptic Twitter post that he was set to run for the US presidency in 2020.

To be honest, we’re not even sure this one is fake.

Comey

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