DID you spot our April Fools’ Day stories yesterday?

The news about plans for a Hollywood remake of iconic Oxford detective series Morse was of course untrue. It claimed fans of the show were in “utter disbelief” at plans to cast US actor Vin Diesel as Morse. And it appeared on page six of the paper alongside four of our other April Fools’ pranks.

But many readers took the stories seriously.

Abigail Thaw – the daughter of Morse actor John Thaw who also stars in prequel Endeavour as the editor of the Oxford Mail – even tweeted a link to the story and said: “Is this a joke?? Anyone heard?”

And Scrofulous Serf commented on the Oxford Mail website: “Excellent. One of the few media pranks to make me laugh in recent years. Nearly got me too!”

Another reader, Fat Barry, said: “Good joke Oxford Mail. Almost had me fooled, remembered the date just in time.”

Other jokes on the page included plans to translate Witney road signs into Welsh in preparation for a new London Welsh rugby stadium in the town, a claim that the county’s flood problems were caused by a drop in the number of cows, the new Austin Maxi car, and a new Oxford University department set up to investigate achievements of its own alumni.