Comic Ross Noble gets 500 fans to call Alan and claim an alligator was on the loose in a Newcastle park.
Ross, originally from Cramlington in Northumberland said:
“They all phoned in saying ‘Alan, me dog went into some bushes, there was some rustling and when it came back there was just a lead, me dog’s gone!’, and ‘Aye, wor cat got snapped!’.
“The trouble was it got out of control and it made all the papers and my mum rang me and said ‘you’ve gone too far this time’.
“Then it turned into this legend that there was this alligator loose in the park. I completely started it.”
At the time, local and national newspapers treated the alligator alert very seriously, telling how a team of specialist wildlife hunters had been placed on red alert after warnings that a six-foot alligator or “crocodile-type creature” was on the loose in the Tyneside park.
Police were also involved in the hunt, in which wildlife experts were put on 24-hour standby, and frightened pet owners refused to walk their animals.
However, the following week an anonymous call was made to the local newspaper admitting the whole thing was a crock!
Photo credit: The Evening Chronicle.