Australians have been duped this year by in-flight exercise, a new gig for Lisa Wilkinson and a tamper-proof cricket ball.
And while readers Down Under were slowly realising that every headline had to be taken with a grain of salt, the rest of the world was only just getting started, thanks to time zone differences.
Here are some the funniest pranks played around Australia and the world on April 1, 2018.
Lisa Wilkinson to host Big Brother
TV Tonight, a television blog, dreamt up an almost believable scoop that high-profile journalist Lisa Wilkinson would host a revamped season of reality series Big Brother.
And it seemed Wilkinson was keen to ditch her family-friendly image, with the series to feature 24/7 webcam streaming and adult content in an MA timeslot.
“It is watercooler TV meets eviction confessions, and I’ve been practicing those famous words, ‘It’s time to go’,” Wilkinson supposedly said.
In a jab at how many shows Queensland has snavelled of late, even Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk was quoted as gloating at having the show filmed on the Gold Coast.
Virgin Australia announces ‘world’s first in-flight cycling studio’
Perhaps inspired by Qantas’ outlandish plans for in-flight gyms, Virgin used April 1 to unveil “the ultimate spin class in the sky”.
The fictitious workout would allow passengers to stretch their legs during long-haul international flights, the company promised.
“Our team at Virgin Active are used to running spin classes at ground level, but we’re thrilled to have partnered with Virgin Australia, and over the past year we have been busy designing the ultimate spin class in the sky,” a supposed ‘Cycle Head Coach’ was quoted as saying.
The airline even produced a slick promotional video. It conveniently failed to explain how the spin classes would be crammed into its flights.
Of course, with Qantas actually considering the idea of in-flight gyms, it was difficult to pick as a fraud.
North Korea to back Adani
ISeekPlant.com.au, a plant hire website, beat out of some of the nation’s best journalists with its world exclusive that Kim Jong-un was willing to step in and fund the building of Australia’s controversial Adani coal mine.
“After days of negotiation between myself and the esteemed Kim Jong we have agreed to a deal which will see our three countries prosper,” Gautam Adani reportedly said.
The finance carried some strict conditions, including that the Adani company import 50 per cent of its workforce from North Korea, that it bar any and all South Koreans from the site, and that any insults towards Mr Kim on the worksite be punished by exile to a North Korean concentration camp.
A demilitarised zone would also be established around the mine, the website reported.
ME bank’s disposable bank card
You'll have a whole pack of six to rip through with Chuck™ pic.twitter.com/E5tMCyRK80
— ME (@mebank) March 31, 2018
One of Australia’s national banks got creative by unveiling a “disposable” and “100 per cent recyclable” cardboard bank card.
It’s name, Chuck, was a nod to ME’s other quirkily named bank cards: Buck (for money) and Frank (for honest and simple). So it seemed almost believable, until you thought about the security implications of throwing away cards.
“With Chuck, your income has never been so disposable,” a spokesman said proudly.
On every advertisement, the name of the dummy card holder was “P Mache”, for papier mache.
Oh, and to be eligible for the card, you needed to be an Australian citizen or permanent resident “and gullible enough to fall for this”.
Hungry Jack’s flame-grilled chocolate burger
the NEW chocolate Whopper. coming soon to your local Burger King. maybe. pic.twitter.com/9N1snyYhRX
— Burger King (@BurgerKing) March 30, 2018
Just in time for Easter, the global burger chain announced a new all-chocolate Whopper.
According to the promotional video, the burger would have chocolate for a bun, a “flame-grilled” chocolate patty instead of meat, raspberry syrup rather than tomato sauce, white chocolate ‘onions’, candied blood oranges instead of tomato slices, milk chocolate ‘lettuce’ leaves and vanilla frosting for mayonnaise.
Talk about mouth watering. This fake burger might turn out to be tastier than the real thing. We’ll let you know if it ever makes it into stores for real.
Deliveroo offers ‘smell and taste’ app
The Australian food delivery service used April 1 to announce it would add a new ‘Try Before You Buy’ feature to its app.
Customers would be allowed to smell and taste food samples through their smartphones on everything sold through the app, Deliveroo promised – “from udon bowls and parma ham pizzas to juicy burgers and salmon dons”.
“This revolutionary tech, launched in response to frustrated customers who’ve complained about the overwhelming, panic-inducing selection of items on the platform, lets you taste and smell dishes before you hit the checkout button,” the company said.
The announcement was helpfully accompanied by photos of hungry users sniffing the screens of their phones.
The New Daily reveals the tamper-proof ball
And, of course, The New Daily joined the fun with a hard-hitting yarn about tamper-proof cricket balls, after the cheating scandal consumed last week’s news cycle.
The high-tech ball boasted a microchip sensitive to sweetened saliva, a mini stump cam that would feed images to the third umpire, and even a special dye that would be released “if normal degradation is accelerated”.
Conveniently, the researcher from “one of Australia’s leading universities” who had invented the ball had asked not to be named.
Plenty of TND readers fell for the prank.
“This seemed a really sad indictment on the game, until I realised today’s date,” one wrote.
“Excuse me for asking, but who are these secretive developers?” asked another.
And another: “This technology is a step in the right direction, but it won’t stop players trying to cheat.”
Hopefully you saw through it.