Trust no-one and question everything today, for 'tis April Fool's Day, and pranks are rife. Here are a few of our favourites this year — we'll be adding to this article throughout the morning, so keep checking back.
Meghan Markle to give birth at Croydon University Hospital
Arrangements have been finalised for the pregnant Duchess of Sussex to give birth at Croydon University Hospital, rather than Paddington's Lindo Wing, according to MyLondon. The article goes on to say that the Royal couple were 'blown away' by the hospital's facilities.
Meanwhile, furniture store Bensons for Beds drafted in Meghan and Harry lookalikes — complete with a newborn baby — to go shopping for baby mattresses at the Tottenham Court Road branch:
Lewisham drivers to switch sides
As of today, driving in the borough of Lewisham switches from the left-hand side of the road to the right, according to the Forest Hill Society — excluding TfL Red Routes, such as the South Circular. The European Union Traffic Convergence Directive is apparently being introduced as an act of defiance against Brexit.
Meet Tower of London's new Pigeonmaster
You've heard of the Ravenmaster — now meet the Pigeonmaster. Tower of London's Twitter-famous Ravenmaster Chris Skaife is overseeing a work exchange between the Tower's ravens, and the Trafalgar Square pigeons, with the pigeons taking over ceremonial duties at the Tower until 2020. That's certainly a change in the pecking order (sorry).
We’re delighted to introduce our new Pigeonmaster (previously @ravenmaster1) Chris Skaife, leading a new work exchange between the Tower ravens and Trafalgar Sq pigeons. #RavenSwap will run until 2020, giving the pigeons the chance to take over ceremonial duties at the Tower. pic.twitter.com/3UQ6M2rd3s— The Tower of London (@TowerOfLondon) April 1, 2019
Geoff Marshall visits that tiny railway station... London Waterloo
Train expert and Londonist contributor Geoff Marshall continues his video series of London's least-used stations with a little station you may not have heard of... London Waterloo.
(Although Geoff is a Londonist contributor, this video is his own work, and nothing to do with us. That's not to say we haven't been up to any mischief elsewhere... but we'll let you figure it out yourselves).
Royal Albert Hall to rotate 180°
The Royal Albert Hall has announced details of a 'major building project', the first part of which involves the concert hall being rotated 180°. The rotation is reportedly part of plans to make the venue more accessible in the long term. Issues such as discolouration, erosion, fading and pollen damage are said to plague different sides of the building due to exposure to main roads, wind, sun and Hyde Park respectively.
Heathrow Airport to rename its terminals after new generation of royals
Prince George, Princess Charlotte, Prince Louis, and their yet-to-be-born cousin are the inspiration for rebranding of Heathrow Airport, with a terminal to be renamed after each of the youngest generation of the Royal Family. Road signs and sat nav systems will be updated with the new names, according to the airport's press release, with runway slots allocated to each terminal in order of succession to the throne.
St Pancras International to house London's first public drum kit
You probably know about the public pianos at St Pancras station — anyone's welcome to sit down and have a play, and we don't usually mind being serenaded (if it's good enough for Jeff Goldblum, it's good enough for us). Imagine that, but with drums. You'd never hear your train being announced.
Royal Institution unlocks 'Christmas Lecturer gene'
Bastion of science The Royal Institution claims to have unlocked the secret to the success of its famous Christmas Lecture — using a lock of Michael Faraday's hair.
Faraday founded the Christmas Lectures, and the RI claims to have sequenced Faraday's genome (stay with us here) and compared it to that of modern day Christmas Lecturers — and it turns out they all have a certain DNA sequence in common. You know what, they can explain the (fake) science better than we ever could — here's the lowdown.
London gin riots - IanVisits
London blogger IanVisits fills us in on the history of the London Gin Riots, which apparently happened 250 years ago today. We know that London's love for Mother's Ruin was strong during the gin craze, but Ian tells of a crowd of 40-60,000 people marching on Parliament to protest the introduction of the Gin Act, which banned small producers from distilling here in London, and imposed higher taxes on the rest.
Diamond Geezer switches to video
Meanwhile, London-based blogger Diamond Geezer has informed his readership that he is embracing technology and switching to video reporting from now on, with his first video already live.
BTP cracks down on smelly food
In a move that some will wish was real, the British Transport Police announced a crackdown on smelly food on public transport. It reports that 'new anti-social behaviour legislation' could leave you facing a £2,000 fine if you crack out your tuna sarnies or pungent late-night takeaway on the train or tube. See the full list of banned items, accompanied by a quote from Inspector Pete Pong (think about it...).
Megabus launches a vegan bus
Coach company MegaBus is turning one of its blue fleet green, as it launches a vegan coach. The vehicle is fitted with mushroom leather seats ('soft and snug', apparently) and grass beneath passengers' feet, and will only stop at the most vegan-friendly cities. Naturally, all food served on board will be 100% vegan, and comes in 100% edible packaging.
Elsewhere, rival coach company National Express tweeted about a new upgrade option, NXSleep, where certain coaches in the fleet have had their luggage compartments converted into luxury suites:
King-size beds, flat screens TVs and free snacks are all included in the fictional booking option.
Commemorative Brexit stamp designs 'leaked'
Designs for commemorative Brexit stamps have been revealed. The prank — nothing to do with Royal Mail — is the work of London-based ad agency isobel, and showcases 'icons' of Brexit, represented as historical figures with a relevant quote. Theresa May takes on the guise of Florence Nightingale, while Boris Johnson's been likened to Churchill, and Nigel Farage is shown as Richard the Lionheart while Jacob Rees-Mogg and Jean-Claude Juncker are Nelson and Napolean respectively.
Apple launches composer emojis for classical music fans - Classic FM
Radio station Classic FM reports of Apple launching a new set of emojis depicting composers such as Mozart Beethoven and Bach, as well as male and female conductors.
BBC iPlayer launches 'Skip The Sex' button
Here's one that might come in handy when you're watching TV with your parents... BBC iPlayer claims it's launching a 'Skip The Sex' button, allowing you to avoid scenes that some might find embarrassing to watch.
Even better is the Twitter users who replied, asking for a 'Skip To The Sex' button.
Introducing @BBCiPlayer’s #SkipTheSex button.— BBC iPlayer (@BBCiPlayer) April 1, 2019
For those mortifying moments when a surprise 🍆 or 🍑 makes you 😳… pic.twitter.com/eM9rQ6LNFi
Cath Kidston launches CodXKidston chip paper
British fashion brand Cath Kidston isn't shy of collaborating with anyone from Mickey Mouse to Fearne Cotton, but today it launches a new partnership with the nation's fish and chip shops. Look out for limited edition Cath Kidston print chip wrap paper at your local chippy.
STK London launches beef flavoured cereal
Sorry vegans, you've got your bus, now the meat eaters are having their turn. Restaurant STK London — which, no joke, does an epic roast dinner — introduces Beefies cereal, a beef flavoured breakfast offering with pieces in the shape of cows.
Springtime snow in North Greenwich
In a prank that doubles up as a publicity stunt for the newly-expanded Cineworld at The O2, the cinema brand dumped a whole lot of fake snow outside North Greenwich station this morning, highlighting the special effects that the cinema's 4DX technology can simulate.
Historic England boosts the love life robins
Outside of London, on the nation's coastlines, Historic England claims that romance among robins is on the increase, thanks to the real-life acoustic mirrors built during the first world war to provide advance warning of air attacks. The article claims that robins have worked out how to use them to project their own mating calls further.
'Healing tsar' to be launched to heal Britain's Brexit rift
April Fool's aside, several (real) news headlines in recent weeks have required the suspension of belief (case in point), so we were expecting to see a few news articles today that toed the line between April Fool and oh-goodness-this-is-actually-happening. Step in The Guardian, with information about a 'healing tsar' which will reunite Britain after Brexit. A group — consisting of people from the country's leading institutions — is said to be working in secret to come up with proposals to heal the rifts caused by Brexit.
Sainsbury's to stock pink avocados
We've received a press release spreading the news that supermarket chain Sainsbury's is to stock a limited edition run of pink avocados (dubbed 'Rosa-vo') from a supplier in Peru.
Meanwhile, the Sainsbury's social media team ran a story about new Trolley Trainers, complete with varying resistance levels and a heart rate monitor — although someone got over-excited and published the tweet a few hours too early.
Meet the Marmite Pot Noodle
If you got excited about the (genuine) peanut butter-Marmite hybrid that was announced last week, how about taking your Marmite addiction one step further with a Marmite flavoured Pot Noodle?
In other weird food mash-ups, Heinz and Cadbury are apparently teaming up to create Creme Egg mayo just in time for Easter, a combination of Heinz Mayo and Creme Egg goo, finished off with chunks of Cadbury chocolate. Is it weird to think that sounds pretty good? We're asking for a friend...
Spritz yourself in Aperol Spritz
Popular drinks brand Aperol Spritz tweeted news of its new scent range, Aperol Spritz-Spritz, combining the herby, fruity flavours of the tipple into a perfume. Yum.
And finally... secrets of the Elizabeth line
As it's now past midday, we'll let you into Londonist's own April Fool's 2019 prank. Early this morning, we posted this video to our Facebook page, absolutely chock-full of 'facts' about the Elizabeth line. Proceed with cynicism: