April 1st 1957: ‘Spaghetti tree hoax’

On this day in 1957 for April Fools’ Day, the BBC current affairs programme Panorama broadcast a story about spaghetti trees. The piece told of a Swiss family who harvested spaghetti from a tree, and it was widely believed as spaghetti was not well known in Britain at the time. Many also considered it credible as the voice-over was done by the respected broadcaster Richard Dimbleby. Hundreds of people wrote to the BBC to ask how to grow their own spaghetti tree to which the BBC replied: “place a sprig of spaghetti in a tin of tomato sauce and hope for the best”.

(watch the broadcast here)

04/01/13 at 11:30am
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