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The week that was; Two British stars were born, a man sold his wife, and the Army released an April Fool ool.

1962 1 APRIL Phillip Schofield was born. Born in Oldham, he worked as a tea boy for the BBC when he was just 15, before his family emigrated to New Zealand, where he started TV presenting. There were years on BBC children's TV, on In The Broom Cupboard with Gordon the Gopher (right) and on Going Live, before joining ITV's This Morning in 2002. He also performed on stage as Joseph in Joseph And The Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat in the 1990s.

1877 2 APRIL The first human cannonball was fired. Roll up, roll up, for the story of the Britishborn Rosa Richter, who ran away to join the circus as a trapeze artist, changed her name to Zazel, then performed for the word-famous Barnum. She was 14 when she first launched herself from a spring-style cannon, travelling up to 70 feet in the air before landing in a net. The explosion and puff of smoke were added for effect. Zazel's career ended in 1891 when she missed the net and broke her back.

1998 6 APRIL American Country music singer Tammy Wynette died, aged 55. The woman who made Stand By Your Man a smash hit worldwide married five times - so had her fair share of D-I-V-O-R-C-Es as well. Tammy, named Virginia at birth, became one of the best-known singers of Country music. But her life was plagued with ill health. She had more than 15 major surgeries and became addicted to painkillers. She died from a blood clot in her lung.

2017 1 APRIL The Army introduced Brick camouflage. 'Multi-terrain pattern' camo is great in deserts, woods or grasslands, but how can troops disguise themselves if they're deployed in towns or cities? The answer came last year in the form of kit in Brick, Stone and Pebble Dash. It was designed to test a soldier's ability to fight in built-up areas FIBUA). This was a superb April Fools' Day joke issued by the Forces Network website. 'Real' urban camouflage is boring shades of grey.

1832 7 APRIL A man sold his wife. This true story was said to be the inspiration for Thomas Hardy's novel The Mayor Of Casterbridge (adapted for TV, starring Juliet Aubrey and Ciaran Hinds, above). Cumbrian farmer Joseph Thomson took his wife, Mary Anne, into Carlisle and, according to reports, he 'placed his wife on a large oak chair with a halter of straw round her neck'. He then said she was 'a born serpent. She has become my tormentor, a domestic curse, a night invasion and a daily devil'. He asked for 50 shillings, but after an hour he agreed to accept 20 shillings and a Newfoundland dog.

1957 3 APRIL Norwich City Council were the first to use a municipal computer. Look at the size of this beast from the East. It was so huge it was housed in its own room, but nowadays your own mobile phone has got more functions and memory. The forward-thinking council wanted an efficient system to handle the collection of its rates and payroll. The British-made Elliott 405 stored information on magnetic film. The council reported savings of 20% because they made people redundant.

1978 6 APRIL Myleene Klass was born. Happy 40th birthday to the musician, presenter, model and entrepreneur who once described herself as having 'freckles, a lazy eye and not much in the eyebrow department'. She scrubs up well, though. Myleene sang backing vocals on Cliff Richard's Mistletoe And Wine single, before finding fame on TV talent show Popstars in 2001 as a member of Hear'Say. After appearing on I'm A Celebrity in a white bikini, she was offered a contract with M&S. With her clothing and fitness ranges, TV and radio work, she is said to be worth PS11 million.
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:The People (London, England)
Date:Apr 1, 2018
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