Revealed: How We Hoaxed TCS

We’ve done over The Sun and the BNP, but ALASDAIR PAL’s TCS gem from February has never been revealed. Until now…

This week, a curious ‘investigation’ appeared in TCS. And it wasn’t about the CUSU cat getting stuck up a tree.

Over a full news page, Editor Jen Mills and Associate James Burton breathlessly detailed that as an independent organisation, The Tab has to, er, build relationships with other companies in order to function.

But this isn’t the first time Burton has devoted a whole page of his paper to us. As last year’s editor, he commissioned one of the most transparent hoaxes ever seen in print: a sports feature dated February 25th on bog snorkelling written, coincidentally, under the moniker Pete Diver.

How he (or then section editor Phil Brook) didn’t spot that it was me still remains a mystery. They didn’t get the reference to ‘distinctive red livery’, or the rather tabloid-sounding ‘Sun and Star ale’. Nor did they realise that the interviewee, Mack Rivling, bears an uncanny resemblance in name to Tab founder Jack Rivlin. And the more autistic among you will realise that the ‘elite’ bog snorkelling team Outback Irons, is actually an anagram of ‘Brook is a cunt’.

TCS give a page to the most transparent newspaper hoax in history.

There are many more – my personal favourite is the pay-off line: ‘I like to keep a tab on things’ – but the point is that nobody bothered to check with the real-life inventor of big snorkelling whether he knew any of these characters (he doesn’t), or whether a group of swimming blues really are planning a Varsity match (they aren’t).

In fairness, at least our hoax was intentionally misleading – this week their sports section got the Blues Rugby score wrong, along with most of the players’ names, and forgot to replace the headline from last week.

Should TCS commission a piece from us every week?

Reproduced in glorious widescreen, I’ll let you decide…

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Hoaxing pedigree

TCS were not the only publication to be haplessly hoaxed by The Tab last year. In April we delighted The Guardian and Private Eye when The Sun printed our April Fool’s story as if it was factual.

And in answer to all those writing in asking if last week’s TCS frontpage about ‘Pizza Wars’ was a Tab hoax, the answer is no. They actually wrote that story.

Someone at The Sun forgot what day it was.

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