April Fool's Day, British style: Happy fiftieth anniversary

Let me take you back, way back, to 1957. Yes, I realize most of us were not even born. But, still, it is a day that must go down in infamy for foodies, for the British, and most of all, for the gullible.

You see, today is the 50th anniversary of a very prestigious BBC broadcast on the very prestigious TV programme Panorama voiced by the very prestigious broadcaster Richard Dimbleby.

The show? It was about a bumper crop in Switzerland. A bumper crop of trees. Spaghetti trees, to be precise.

And they showed the trees being harvested. Of their spaghetti.

Something like 8 million people watched the April 1 gag broadcast. Of these, hundreds phoned in. Were they complaining? Well, yes, the BBC did get their share of complaints. But these people weren't complaining so much as, well, erm, asking for more information on the cultivation of spaghetti.

The BBC reportedly told callers to "place a sprig of spaghetti in a tin of tomato sauce and hope for the best."

I daresay, some did.

Happy April fools!