The National:

ANDREW Neil has been left even more red in the face than usual after falling for a glaringly obvious April Fools’ joke.

The embarrassing moment came after George Allison, the editor of the UK Defence Journal, shared an image purporting to show three warships.

“NEWS | HMS Queen Elizabeth (left) and HMS Prince of Wales (right) have rendezvoused with French aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle (centre) in the North Sea today,” Allison wrote.

The hook was baited with the obvious fact that the “Charles de Gaulle” was significantly smaller than either of its royally named associates.

And Allison couldn’t have landed a much bigger fish.

Having seen the image, former GB News chair Neil tried to take a pot-shot at the French president Emmanuel Macron, but ended up shooting himself in the foot.

“Macron will simply hate this picture!!” he wrote.

The former BBC host seems to be struggling to tell fact from fiction without a team of publicly funded researchers behind him.

Fortunately, Tory MP Tobias Ellwood – the chair of the Commons Defence Committee – was on hand to point out the obvious.

“This is a fake pic Andrew…” Ellwood wrote.

READ MORE: Five things we learned from Andrew Neil's interview attacking GB News

Political commentator Mujtaba Rahman added: “There is something odd about this picture @afneil. The Ch de Gaulle aircraft carrier is 260m long. The Queen Elizabeth is 280m long …”

While Twitter user Chris McBride wrote: “This might be an old fake picture recycled for April Fools' Day, but it also gets one over the French and that's all that counts.”

Confirming the prank, Allison added: “I'm amazed that this needs said but check the date, folks.”

He went on: “All joking aside, the Charles de Gaulle is the flagship of the French Navy and the only nuclear-powered aircraft carrier in service outside of the United States Navy. The ship is one of the most capable, versatile and powerful warships to ever sail. Vive la France!”


In the plot twist absolutely no-one saw coming, Neil has doubled-down in bizarre fashion.

Responding to one user who told him that the image was "100% photoshop", Neil wrote: "That’s untrue. And it’s not April 1st."

It very much is April 1 (at least at the time of writing), and the photo is very much a fake.

Allison has even said so himself, telling Twitter that he made it in 2021 and highlighting that if anyone is in any doubt they need only check the size of the planes on the ships.

Those on the "Charles de Gaulle" are much smaller than those on the British ships ... it's almost as if the whole image has been doctored.

But it hasn't been, because veteran journalist Andrew Neil says it hasn't been.


Neil is now claiming that he knew the picture was fake all along. Of course he did.