April Fool's! A selection of this year's unpredictable 1st of April tricks

Charlie Spargo's picture
by Charlie Spargo

It's some journalists' least favourite day of the year - inboxes and news websites filled with plausible, yet questionable stories to celebrate April Fool's Day.

And given the fact the country is in the midst of one of the most unpredictable periods in politics for a very long time, with the initally planned but unmet Brexit date behind us, there's plenty of fodder for some to plan tricks and falsehoods today.

On the other hand, some have said the era of "fake news", with dangerous false statements and vicious rumours being circulated regardless of the day, has ended the principle of a good-natured April Fool's news story. Microsoft have taken the step of banning hoaxes altoghether, stating how they can "result in unwanted news cycles."

This year, there do seem to be fewer high-profile tricks than normal - but let's take a look at some of those that have come out today.

isobel - Brexit-themed stamps leaked

isobel's Brexit stamps

Riffing on the state of current national sentiment, nostalgia and personality politics, London creative agency isobel has apparently been the victim of a premature leak - saying a collection of six stamps they designed have been revealed. The supposed collection features current political players imagined as influential historical figures, alongside a line of text.

Theresa May is portrayed as Florence Nightingale, Boris Johnson as Churchill, and Speaker of the House of Commons John Bercow is Henry V.


Google - Snake around the world and talk to your tulip

Each year, Google creates some of the most intricate digital solutions for its April Fool's tricks - creating interactive experiences rather than outright hoaxes.

Their main plan this year turns your mobile Google Maps application into a tricky game of Snake - the popular mobile game originally known for being available on Nokia phones.

But they've also released a promotional video that's a little more impenetrable - promising to link the Google Home unit with any nearby tulips. Advancements in AI, they say, mean they can now translate between the flowers and "dozens" of human languages. 

Food investor announces Italian-Japanese joint

Jamie Barber, one of the influential investors from the BBC's Million Pound Menu, where vendors vie for funding from some of the country's most successful chain operators and angels, says he's partnered with Observer reviewer Jay Rayner to relaunch Shumi - an Italian-Japanese restaurant that closed back in 2005.

It was slated by Rayner back in 2003 - and he would also be the last person to contribute investment to a restaurant concept - but this time, Barber says there's things to look forward to including "Spaghetti with soy sauce and salmon sashimi a la carbonara."

Icelolly's ice lollies

Low-cost travel comparison site icelolly says they're celebrating summer in their own unique way.

The story goes that they've partnered with celebrated chef Pol Floriàl to create a savoury ice cream flavour for each of icelolly's ten most popular destinations. They include  Spanish Paella, Greek Gyros, Turkish Doner and Moroccan Tagine.


JBL's Millennial-only technology

Today, loudspeaker producers JBL announce what they're calling a "world-first". Their upgraded PartyBox 300 now not only offers top sound quality and lighting effects, but the added feature that when it reaches full volume, only Millennials can hear it.

They're calling it the "avocaudio" technology - the supposed advancement that lets under-35s hear what others can't. "The newly discovered ‘memecusis’" - as they're calling it - "is the ear-aging process specific to millennials."

JBL's R&D Manager says "Of course, we haven’t forgotten about our older demographic. We’ll be launching the JBL Baby Boomerbox early next year.”


Sainsburys launches 'Gainsburys'

Embedded rich media on Twitter

Confusing Twitter users by releasing this news four hours before April Fool's Day even began, yesterday Sainsbury's announced the launch of its Trolley Trainer - letting shoppers set a resistance level on their cart and burn those calories even while they're making their way down the cake aisle.

Soft-grip handles and a water bottle holder turn it into what they're promising is the perfect piece of fitness equipment.