Charles de Jaeger
Charles Theophile de Jaeger (27 February 1911 - 19 May 2000) was a cameraman for the BBC. He is best known as one of the creators of a famous April Fool's Day joke from 1957: a 3-minute spoof report on the Swiss spaghetti harvest beside Lake Lugano broadcast by the British current affairs programme, Panorama.
De Jaeger was born in Vienna. He worked for the Free French Film Unit during the Second World War, and joined the BBC in July 1943, working as a sub-editor on news for Central Europe. He became a television cameraman in 1948. He was the first BBC newsreel cameraman to film outside the UK.
April Fools 1957
The idea for the April Fool came from his school days, during which a teacher had once said, "Boys, you are so stupid, you'd believe me if I told you that spaghetti grew on trees." He developed the idea with producer David Wheeler, and it was approved by the editor of Panorama, Michael Peacock. A silent film was recorded in Castiglione in Switzerland in March, and a commentary written by Wheeler was added by respected broadcaster Richard Dimbleby.
De Jaeger left the BBC in 1959 to become a freelancer. He died in London in May, 2000.
- Hillier, Bevis (2007). "Trick or treat - page 2". The Spectator. Retrieved 2010-01-25.
- "Martin Wainwright on some of the silliest April Fool tricks | Books". London: The Guardian. 30 March 2007. Retrieved 2010-01-25.
- Museum of Hoaxes article on the Swiss Spaghetti Harvest hoax
- Charles de Jaeger on Internet Movie Database
- Obituary, The Independent, 29 May 2000
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