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March 31, 2017

In 1957, the BBC Pulled Off the Best April Fools’ Day Prank Ever – The Spaghetti Tree Hoax

The BBC has always been known for its highly reputable broadcasts. So it hit that much harder when, in 1957, the BBC crafted a hilarious April Fool’s Day broadcast in which they showed a family in southern Switzerland reaping fresh noodles from the family spaghetti tree.

As unbelievable as it sounds now, spaghetti was, at the time, foreign to most UK residents, and many had no idea the delectable noodles were simply made of flour and water. A number of viewers afterwards contacted the BBC for advice on growing their own spaghetti trees; the BBC told them to “place a sprig of spaghetti in a tin of tomato sauce and hope for the best.”

It was estimated that 8 million people watched the broadcast the day it aired on April 1, 1957, making it one of the most widespread famous hoaxes in broadcasting history. Decades later, CNN called this broadcast “the biggest hoax that any reputable news establishment ever pulled.”


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