Sunday, April 01, 2007

It doesn't grow on trees...does it?

Since it's April 1st, I thought I'd mention one of my favourite hoaxes, which occurred fifty years ago today.

The year is 1957. The culprit, the BBC, who convinced -- through the reassuring and authoritative voice of David Dimbleby -- a seemingly large number of viewers that spaghetti is harvested from trees.

As the BBC reported at the time:

Spaghetti is not a widely-eaten food in the UK and is considered by many as an exotic delicacy.

Mr Dimbleby explained how each year the end of March is a very anxious time for Spaghetti harvesters all over Europe as severe frost can impair the flavour of the spaghetti.

He also explained how each strand of spaghetti always grows to the same length thanks to years of hard work by generations of growers.

This is believed to be one of the first times the medium of television has been used to stage an April Fools Day hoax.

Please note, this is within living memory...when spaghetti could be referred to as an 'exotic delicacy'.

Only months later, Harold Macmillan would tell the British people they had 'never had it so good'...

Sort of puts things in perspective, dunnit?

No comments: