April 13, 2024

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April Fool's Day: The Spaghetti Harvest – BBC hoax

April Fool's Day: The Spaghetti Harvest – BBC hoax

It's exactly 67 years since the BBC gave a “report” on April Fools' Day in 1957, which had an impact on the British.

This farce was one of the first to show the huge influence television could have on the world.

Notably that year, the BBC aired a three-minute video report from the television program Panorama of a family in the canton of Ticino in Switzerland harvesting a mulberry tree they had planted.

When the BBC is in the mood

The footage shows the women carefully pulling the bouncy rows from the trees and drying them in the sun. There were even displays of the traditional harvest festival in the area, along with a discussion on breeding and the fertilizers needed to grow the perfect length of spaghetti!

Many people have asked how to get their own macaroni trees

The whole prank was orchestrated by presenter Richard Dimbleby, who at the time addressed a British audience unfamiliar with the “sexy” taste, convincing them that late March was a very stressful time for pasta growers across Europe. , as the cold affects their taste. He explained that each spaghetti fiber always grows to the same length, thanks to years of hard work by generations and generations of farmers.

Various reactions

The hoax elicited mixed reactions, with the public as divided as the newspapers of the time as to whether it was a good joke or a hoax that horrified the public.

Hundreds of viewers phoned the BBC to say the story wasn't true, or to wonder about it, and to ask for more information on how to grow a fanfare and get their own 'spaghetti trees'.

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Decades later, CNN called the… report “the biggest hoax ever pulled by any reputable news organization.”