The Poke

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The Poke
Type of site
Launched 2002
Current status Active

The Poke is a British Left Wing satirical website. It was launched in 2002 as a fanzine distributed at the Edinburgh Festival and independent music stores.[1] The website is known for producing viral videos, which are often Auto-Tune edits of British current affairs.[2]


The Poke began as a fanzine with a circulation of 50,000 that was sold in music shops across the United Kingdom and at the annual Edinburgh Festival. Later becoming an Internet-only publication, the website gained some popularity when it was featured as an "Internet Pick Of The Week" on The Guardian's website, in which it was compared to "a British version of The Onion crossed with Private Eye".[3] The site was named 'Website of the day' by on 19 January 2012.[4]

The red-top look of the site means there have been cases of the site's fictional, satirical news stories being misinterpreted as real news items. In January 2012, a number of French news organisations including Le Parisien and L’Express reported on an August 2011 article by The Poke about a BBC Sign language interpreter being fired from her job for 'fabricating news' as a genuine story. French radio broadcasters RTL and France Info also reported the story as real, and television broadcaster Canal + featuring the fictitious 'scandal' on an evening news programme.[5]

The Leveson Enquiry Musical[edit]

The Poke created an Auto-Tuned version of the Leveson Inquiry featuring the sampled testimonies of Rupert Murdoch, Rebekah Brooks and Andy Coulson. The video was featured in The Guardian's Viral Video Chart.[6]

Nick Clegg Apology Song[edit]

An Auto-Tuned remix uploaded in September 2012 to YouTube of Nick Clegg's apology over going back on his promise to oppose a rise in tuition fees saw the website rise to national publicity, with the video becoming an Internet phenomenon. Following a request by the website, Clegg allowed the song to be released as a single on iTunes, provided that all proceeds were donated to the Sheffield Children's Hospital.[7] The track was released on Friday 21 September, and entered the weekly UK Singles Chart at number 136 two days later.[8]

Brown Windsor soup[edit]

A satirical can of Brown Windsor soup features a likeness of Queen Elizabeth II and is part of the "Jubilee Collection," available for about 40 and made "directly from the sewage outflow of Windsor Castle."[9]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "The Poke". The Poke. Retrieved 2012-09-21. 
  2. ^ "British Comedy Guide - Website Links". Retrieved 2012-09-21. 
  3. ^ Johnny Dee (2010-10-23). "Internet picks of the week | Technology". London: The Guardian. Retrieved 2012-09-21. 
  4. ^ "WEBSITE OF THE DAY: The Poke". 2012-01-19. 
  5. ^ "fools France". The Poke. 2012-01-20. Retrieved 2012-09-21. 
  6. ^ Baird, Dugald (18 May 2012). "Guardian Viral Video Chart: Leveson the Musical; kid wakes up to Nirvana " The Guardian.
  7. ^ "Nick Clegg's musical tuition fee apology goes viral". London: Telegraph. 2012-09-21. Retrieved 2012-09-21. 
  8. ^ "Gangnam Style fails to top UK singles chart". BBC News. 2012-09-23. 
  9. ^ "Brown Windsor Soup Jubilee Collection". The Poke. Retrieved March 23, 2014. 

External links[edit]