When it comes to faking it, Steve Smith and Phil Woods are the experts.
The comedy writing duo have released their second book, this time a collection of their most popular satirical news stories from their website TheDailySkid.com.
Steve, from Lancaster, said: “We’ve found the word ‘satirical’ confuses a lot of people so we refer to what we write as ‘fake news stories’.
“Most readers find them funny for what they are, but it’s fun to see comments that show some people take them seriously.
“We make it as clear as possible that we’re not being serious, but it starts some great conversations between readers, on the website and on social media, when people think it’s real news.”
Lancaster’s Skerton High School even discussed one of their stories in English lessons.
Pupils looked at a story entitled ‘txt spk 2 b cmplsry in schl exms’ to see if they could find any clues indicating the story was made up.
Steve added: “It was great to find that pupils are using our news stories to discuss how to spot when something isn’t true.”
‘The Daily Skid: The Best Bits’ is published in response to the website gaining a global audience in nearly every country in the world after a featured story went viral.
TheDailySkid.com launched in October 2013, initially attracting 30 to 50 hits daily and steadily growing.
One early story, ‘Broccoli: the latest drug craze among teenagers’, was re-written and posted in February. Sudden extensive sharing of this story across social media triggered phenomenal global attention, attracting over 15,000 hits the next day and nearly half a million in total so far.
To date the website has had more than 800,000 hits, helped by a number of its stories regularly being found by readers and spread again via social media.
According to analytics website Alexa.com, The Daily Skid is in the top 0.038% of websites globally.
The book tackles subjects such as why David Cameron is taking part in this year’s Tour de France, and pork being reclassified as a vegetable.
Phil, who used to live in Lancaster but is now in North Wales, and Steve are mostly influenced by Stephen Fry and Hugh Laurie from their comedy double-act days as Fry & Laurie.
The authors have already enjoyed success with their first book, Beat About the Bush: The Funny Side of Language, which reached number one in its category on Amazon in 2009 and remains in print.
The Daily Skid: The Best Bits is available on Amazon priced £4.49.