April Fool’s Day invariably brings out all sorts of mockery from even the most serious news sources. But here’s an old one that we particularly loved.

ABC‘s This Day Tonight in Adelaide proudly broke the news on 1 April 1975 that metric time was being introduced to Australia. The new metric time system would see seconds become millidays, minutes become centidays, and hours become decidays.

To further guide viewers through the system, South Australia’s deputy premier Des Corcoran was there to commend the new system, and Adelaide’s Town Hall clock had been converted to a 10-hour clock face.

Even the day after the story went to air, confusion still reigned over the so-called transition to metric time. ABC continued to receive calls from angry viewers who had fallen for the gag, and a department store manager had reportedly been inundated with enquiries from concerned customers, including one livid customer who had just bought a new digital clock and was now faced with having to convert it.

“It was a very successful spoof,” commented This Day Tonight producer John Geyer, “Des Corcoran was a good sport for agreeing to appear, and played his part perfectly.”

Pictured: TDT Adelaide reporter Nigel Starck with a “metric” clock.
Source: TV Times, 19 April 1975

5 thoughts on “There’s an April fool born every centiday

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