Jeremy Beadle's pranks were a huge TV hit in the UK
As April Fools jokers hatch their plans, what's the secret to a perfect prank, asks broadcaster Toby Amies. And how far do the very best tricksters go in preparing their practical jokes?
This article is not a hoax. I promise you. It's a serious work about the practical joke.
How far would you go to pull off a prank? The dole queue? In 1987, a young British broadcaster called Chris Morris let off helium into the BBC Bristol studio, causing the newsreader's stories to reach a higher and higher pitch. Chris lost his job. And started his career in satire.
Would you risk prison? Pranks are often protests, against unfairness or authority or reality. And protest is increasingly risky in the 21st Century.
As the film director Billy Wilder said: "If you are going to tell people the truth, be funny or they will kill you."
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