FROM 100 - 90


Kensington Gore likes a bloody good prank, as much as the next man. Kensington Gore has researched the entire history of April Fool's Day and selected its top 100 hoaxes ever and put them in his favourite order.

As lists are very subjective we’re sure you will find Kensington Gore's list highly contentious and might even want to vent your spleen.

These figures are judged annually by the committee of The April Fool Universal Committee Knights AFUCK for short.



They are judged by creativity, historical significance, the number of people duped, and notoriety. The first version of this list was created some twenty-five years ago, over the years it's been revised several times, based upon feedback and ongoing research. If you want to become a member or give AFUCK and have a vote on future AFUCK lists, then follow this link 






April 1, 1996: Virgin Cola ran an advertisement campaign in British newspapers announcing that in the interest of consumer safety it had integrated a new technology into its cans. When the cola passed its sell-by date, the liquid would react with the metal in the can, turning the can bright blue. Virgin warned that consumers should therefore avoid purchasing all blue cans. Coincidentally, Pepsi had recently unveiled its newly designed bright blue cans.


Kensington Gore Says: More a case of negative advertising and cooperate cola wars but where is Virgin cola now? I guess it’s lost its fizz.

Gore Fool Rating: 1 out of 5 



April 1, 2000: The Daily Mail revealed that Esporta Health Clubs had launched a new line of socks, dubbed FatSox! They were designed to help people lose weight. These revolutionary socks actually sucked body fat out of sweating feet, promising to "banish fat for ever." The American inventor of this weight-loss product, Professor Frank Ellis Elgood, explained that the socks employed a nylon polymer called FloraAstraTetrazine "previously only applied in the nutrition industry." As a person's body heat rose and their blood vessels dilated, the socks drew "excess lipid from the body through the sweat." After having sweated out the fat, the wearer could then simply wash the socks, and the fat, away.


Kensington Gore Says: This one might wear thin on you! I always wear socks in bed as my mother as a child told me to practise safe sock!

Gore Fool Rating: 2 out of 5 




April 1, 1988: The Soviet newspaper Izvestia reported that the world-renowned Argentine soccer star Diego Maradona was in negotiations to join Spartak Moscow, who were to pay him $6 million to play in their struggling team. The Associated Pressquickly picked up this surprising story and distributed it to their subscribers, but had to publish a retraction after querying Izvestia for more details and receiving the response that they should be mindful of the date (April 1st). The AP had believed the story because Soviet papers had never before published an April Fool's Day hoax. It was simply unheard of for the dour, state-run publications to crack a joke. The sudden display of humour was credited to Mikhail Gorbachev's policy of glasnost, or openness, instituted the previous year.


Kensington Gore Says: We too can be funny comrade da, da. More being caught “red-handed” than the “Hand of God!”


Gore Fool Rating: 2 out of 5 




April 1, 1995: Spoofing the increasingly complex regulations mandated by the European Economic Community, Polo Mints ("the mint with a hole") ran ads in UK newspapers announcing that "in accordance with EEC Council Regulation (EC) 631/95" they would no longer be producing mints with holes. This regulation supposedly required that all producers of "tubular foodstuffs" delete the holes from their products. To satisfy the regulation, all the existing stock of Polo mints would be supplemented with a "EURO-CONVERSION KIT" containing twenty 7mm "Hole Fillers" to be placed inside each Polo mint. A "detailed instruction leaflet" would also be included.


Kensington Gore Says: At the time was lots of crazy “Euro regulations,” the true cause of Brexit in my humble opinion. But even this one sucks a bit.


Gore Fool Rating: 2 out of 5 





April 1, 1982: Greece's state-controlled National Radio Network issued a warning that pollution had reached danger levels in downtown Athens, and that the city would have to be immediately evacuated. All schools were called upon to close, and the pupils to be sent home. Furthermore, anyone driving a car was asked to abandon it and flee to open ground. Since pollution in Athens was (and still is) a serious problem, thousands of people took the broadcast seriously and began to leave the city. Within three hours the Radio Network retracted the warning, revealing it to be a joke, but by then the damage had been done. One man sued the network for $820,000, claiming the prank had caused him mental distress. The director of the network submitted his resignation over the incident, and the originator of the hoax was fired.


Kensington Gore Says: This is a prime example of an April fool going wrong and almost the fall out is more funny than the prank with the one doing the April fool ending up as the fool.


Gore Fool Rating:  2 out of 5 





The April 1998 cover of Broadcast Engineering showed a view of the media control room of TCI (Tele-Communications Inc. — at the time the largest U.S. cable provider. Later acquired by AT&T and then Comcast.) The cover sparked a massive reader response, with hundreds of letters sent to the magazine pointing out what appeared to be an unintentional goof: the game Solitaire could clearly be seen on the computer screen of the employee in the foreground. Evidently the man had been caught red-handed not doing his job. Not so, the editors revealed in the next issue. The solitaire-playing employee was an intentional (but very believable) joke, created with the participation of TCI's engineering staff.


Kensington Gore Says: This one is well dealt!


Gore Fool Rating: 3 out of 5 





April 1, 1987: The Daily Mirror broke the news of a romance that had blossomed between Margaret Thatcher and Mikhail Gorbachev during Thatcher's tour of the Soviet Union. It accompanied this revelation with photos of the two world leaders sitting together in Moscow's Gorky Park. In one photo, Thatcher could be seen tenderly tickling Gorbachev under his chin. In another, the two walked arm in arm and even sneaked a kiss. The photos were posed by lookalikes, but they succeeded in fooling thousands. Many expressed great shock that Thatcher, a married woman, would act in such a way in public. In real life, Thatcher left Moscow on April 2, 1987. She told members of the press that she and Gorbachev "got on very well, considering that we are very different and hold very different views."


Kensington Gore Says: This was a strange time, and much had been made of Maggie and her getting on so well with President Reagan but this one left me as cold as a holiday on Siberia.


Gore Fool Rating:  3 out of 5 (a bonus point for making one sick to the stomach) 




April 1, 1984: The Orlando Sentinelfeatured a story about a creature known as the Tasmanian Mock Walrus (or TMW for short) that many people in Florida were said to be adopting as a pet. The creature was four inches long, resembled a walrus, purred like a cat, and had the temperament of a hamster. What made it such an ideal pet was that it never had to be bathed, used a litter box, and ate cockroaches. In fact, a single TMW could entirely rid a house of its cockroach problem. However, the local pest-control industry was said to be pressuring the government to ban TMWs, fearing they would put cockroach exterminators out of business. Dozens of people called the paper trying to find out where they could obtain their own TMW. Sceptics noted that the photo of a TMW accompanying the article showed a creature that looked suspiciously similar to a Naked Mole Rat.


Kensington Gore Says: They should have smelt a rat about this one, even though it could have been a “Naked Mole Rat!” I, for one, have never even seen a “Fully dressed Mole Rat!”

Gore Fool Rating: 2 out of 5 




Much of the April 1, 1981 issue of The Guardian was given over to discussion of an exciting scientific breakthrough. Scientists at Britain's research labs in Pershore had developed a machine to control the weather within a 5000-kilometer radius. This was good news for the British, who were to be guaranteed long summers with rainfall only at night, but it turned out to be somewhat less good news for the rest of Europe, who would be stuck with "whatever Pershore decides to send it." One photo showed Professor Max Chisholm-Downright, inventor of the weather machine, expressing "quiet satisfaction as a computer printout announced sunshine in Pershore and a forthcoming blizzard over Marseilles." Readers were assured that the machine would produce only minor side effects, such as a "ten or twelve-foot rise in mean sea level."


Kensington Gore Says: We in Britain are obsessed with the weather and the thought that something could control the weather is something wonderful and scary at the same time.

Imagine how good it would be to know exactly when it was going to rain to control your life. Weathermen have famously got it wrong in the past but the true scary thing would the country would have 75% of our conversation stopped overnight if there wasn’t anything changeable and out of control about the weather.


Gore Fool Rating: 3 out of 5 




March 31, 1998: An article in the Financial Times detailed an agreement that had been struck between the Old Royal Observatory in Greenwich, England, and the Guinness brewery, wherein Guinness would be declared the official beer sponsor of the Observatory's millennium celebration. Greenwich Mean Time would be renamed Guinness Mean Time, and instead of counting seconds in "pips," as was traditional, the Observatory would count them in "pint drips." The Financial Times lamented that the deal marked a new low in corporate marketing and set a "brash tone for the millennium." But what the Financial Times didn't realize was that it had fallen for a joke. The Guinness press release, from which it had taken the information, had been marked for April 1 release. The Financial Times subsequently published a curt retraction, clarifying that Guinness Mean Time had been "apparently intended as part of an April 1 spoof."


Kensington Gore Says: This is messing with something very dear and sacred to my heart, Guinness. A drop of black velvet should never be used to mark the sands of time. Drinking up time is sad enough as far as I am concerned.

Gore Fool Rating: 2 out of 5 





April 1, 2009: The Swiss Tourism Board released a video that revealed the secret of why their mountains always looked so clean. It was due to the hard work of the Association of Swiss Mountain Cleaners, whose members daily scaled the Alps, scrubbing the rocks of unsightly bird droppings. The cleaning not only maintained the beauty of the Alps, but also prevented the droppings from eating away at the rocks, causing cavities that might eventually lead to the complete erosion and disappearance of the mountains. Millions of people watched the video, and 30,000 took the online test to determine whether they had what it took to become a mountain cleaner (aka "Felsenputzer"). Later that year, due to popular demand, the Brunni cable car company began offering an actual mountain cleaning course that attracted would-be Felsenputzers from around the world.

Watch the video here:


Kensington Gore Says: This one will sweep you away.


Gore Fool Rating: 3 OUT OF 5