A joke internet story about the prospect of Jeremy Clarkson coming to Cookstown had local fans of the Grand Tour presenter buzzing.
But while some eagle-eyed readers realised straight away the story, which appeared on usedcarsni.com last week, was a spoof, others shared it in good faith that the “fake news” was the real deal.
One said: “Brace yourselves... Every cub in the country will be at Fairhill in there (sic) ‘stone mint’ ‘busses’ .
Others added: “Always said Cookstown was some spot... more than just sausages now!”
A press officer for Amazon, which films the Grand Tour show, said they were sorry to dash hopes but that the article had not come from them and that Jeremy and his team would not be coming to Cookstown to film the first episode in series two of The Grand Tour.
The spoof story, which certainly got people talking and sharing online, said: “In what is being hailed as a massive coup, Cookstown has sensationally been named as the first filming location for Season 2 of The Grand Tour, beating off stiff competition from similarly world renowned destinations such as San Francisco, Tokyo and Rio de Janeiro.
“Each episode of the Amazon show, fronted by Jeremy Clarkson, is set in a different location to give viewers a range of stunning backdrops to admire each week.
“A spokesperson for the show stated, ‘Cookstown was the perfect choice.
‘One needs only to take a stroll up Fairhill on a Saturday night and marvel at the wide array of lowered Golfs, Jettas and Leons to appreciate the rich car culture that exists here’.”
It went on to joke that Clarkson himself was completely behind the move, because of the town’s “sheer number of kebab shops and Chinese takeaways dotted along the main street (which) means he is unlikely to go hungry during filming, an issue he previously encountered while working for Top Gear”.
Shared hundreds of times, many local people appeared to believe the hoax story.