The Cavendish Joker – famous for his headline-grabbing April Fools’ Day pranks – has announced that this year’s stunt will be his last.
After years of stopping villagers and visitors in their tracks with elaborate hoaxes the mystery prankster has decided it’s time to retire.
But before he brings down the curtain on his annual capers he has one more spectacular joke up his sleeve.
Fans of the Joker will have to wait until tomorrow to find out what he has planned for his swansong.
All should become clear on Friday morning, somewhere near the village green.
In a statement issued through his agent, Arthur Kemp, he would reveal only that it involved a lot of polystyrene and had taken 10 weeks to prepare.
“He is not getting any younger, and is finding all the preparation tougher than he used to,” said Mr Kemp who used to run the village newsagents shop.
“So he has decided it is time to retire and take things a little easier.”
For two decades the Joker has kept villagers entertained with his antics.
They ranged from a flock of cardboard sheep on the green, to an official-looking letter telling residents time was going metric.
Other stunts featured a crash-landed flying saucer, an oil drilling rig, and the announcement of a planning application for a lap dancing club.
And back in the early days villagers could not believe their eyes when they woke to find the picture-postcard pink cottages by the church covered in yellow Mr Blobby-style spots.
But the Joker’s true identity has always been a closely-guarded secret. Through the years he has kept everyone guessing.
Some believe there is more than one person involved, or that the title has been passed to a succession of people prepared to spend countless hours putting the pranks together.
Truth is, you would have to be up very early to catch him out.
But the question everyone will now be asking is whether this really is the end, or will someone else take up the baton. Could the Joker’s retirement be yet another April Fools’ Day hoax?