LONDON, April 1, 2008 -- April Fool's Day has come around again and Britain's media is celebrating it with gusto.
A BBC television spot showed a video of the world's first flying penguins.
Ostensibly filmed for a documentary called "Miracles of Evolution," the video shows a colony of Adélie penguins suddenly taking to the skies as the astonished presenter, ex-Monty Python star Terry Jones, looks on. The TV spot was supposedly filmed on King George's Island, 1,000 kilometres south of the Falklands.
These "miracle penguins" also made it to the cover of The Daily Mirror, which quoted the filmmaker, Prof. Alid Loyas (an anagram for "April Fools' Day"), saying: "We could hardly believe our eyes. It was amazing. It's the perfect example of Darwin's theory of evolution working in reverse."
The newspaper also discussed the other astonishing discoveries made by the filming crew: a lizard which swallows itself to avoid predators, and a musical frog which attracts mates by rapping its legs together.
Flying penguins dominated The Daily Telegraph as well. The paper announced that the BBC had "remarkable footage of penguins flying as part of its new natural history series, Miracles of Evolution."
The reports were so convincing that Chris Tryhorn, a columnist for The Guardian, said that the story gave him "pause for thought, mainly because to be an April Fool it would have to have been the result of an unusual three-way collaboration between two rival papers and the BBC." All three organizations worked together in this instance, to put a smile on their audience's faces.
The Guardian led with a story on the darling of the British press, French first lady and former top model Carla Bruni-Sarkozy. The Italian-born songstress, the paper revealed, has been appointed by the British Prime Minister Gordon Brown to inject a dose of "style and glamour into British national life."
Her new job would require Bruni-Sarkozy to move to London for three months while she turns her attentions to "improving the U.K.'s dress sense and cuisine." She even plans to launch a cheaper version of the Dior suits worn by her during last week's state visit to Britain. No word yet on how British supermodels Kate Moss and Naomi Campbell feel about being looked over for this enviable new assignment.
Not to be left behind, Bruni-Sarkozy's other half, the French President Nicolas Sarkozy, made an appearance in the best-selling tabloid, The Sun. The paper reported that the diminutive leader plans to undergo "pioneering stretch surgery in a bid to make him taller."
The 5-foot 5-inch Sarkozy was said to be in touch with a leading Swiss laboratory, which will carry out the "Stature Augmentation Treatment" on him, adding 5 inches to his height. That would make him an inch taller than his wife, and presumably allow her to give up her flat shoes for something a little sexier.
But it wasn't all French news that made it to today's papers. The Daily Express voiced concerns over plans to replace London's landmark, Big Ben's traditional clock, with a digital clock instead.
The Daily Mail discussed U.K. Chancellor (Finance Minister) Alistair Darling's secret lottery addiction. Featuring pictures of Darling using scratch cards outside a West London shop, the Mail mused that his new hobby could be "a sign of how difficult he is finding it to get to grips with the economy."
The paper even interviewed the shop owner, Jean Still, who said that Darling "only started to do the lottery last year. I don't think he really knew how it worked." So far, Still said, Darling's greatest win was $20.
Finally, The Daily Star reported plans to change the image of James Bond. The paper quoted the most recent (and blond) Bond, Daniel Craig, as saying that he wants the British spy to be bisexual. "I think in this day and age fans would have accepted it. No-one blinks an eye," Craig told the paper.
Auditions have yet to announced, but one imagines there will be no shortage of candidates willing to be play Bond Guys to Craig's 007.