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DJ's April Fool joke leads to edge of disaster
Richard Alleyne


 

AN April Fool joke about a replica of the Titanic almost ended in fresh disaster yesterday.

A local radio DJ in Brighton told his listeners that a replica of the ship would be seen off the coast at Beachy Head, east Sussex. Hundreds of his listeners believed him and raced to the beauty spot.

But their disappointed at realising it was a prank was replaced by panic when a 5ft crack appeared in the 400ft cliff face. Coastguards and local council officials ordered people to leave and cordoned off the area. The Coastguard was less than happy with Southern FM, whose only clue that it was a hoax was that the replica was built by a company called AFD (April Fools Day).

A spokesman said: "This has not only caused us a lot of problems but it has also put the public at risk. "The cliffs at Beachy Head are notoriously dangerous at any time but today they are shrouded in fog and we have identified a large crack in the face of one of the cliffs. Hundreds have been attracted there because of this silly joke. We don't think it's very funny."

Joyce Smart, 40, had driven her two children more than 30 miles to see the ship. She said: "I felt such an idiot but more than anything I was angry at the station for wasting my time. My kids were very upset." A station spokesman said: "It was just a bit of fun." But the disappointment felt by the listeners was nothing compared with that of people in Iraq.

There was jubilation in Baghdad after the newspaper Babel, run by Uday Hussein, elder son of Saddam Hussein, announced a big rise in food rations. The celebrations were shortlived, when it was revealed as a tasteless April Fool joke.

 

 

 

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