Derby business’s April fools gag attracts celebrity exposure

Ian Hodgkinson and Mo Suleman.

An April Fools gag from Derby based Hodgkinson Builders, resulted in national exposure at the weekend after four personalities retweeted it, causing the business website to temporarily go down.

Hodgkinson Builders with help from Poppy-PR, announced that it’s plans to introduce an eco-friendly fashion line were scuppered after the director’s famous brick jacket prototype was stolen, sparking a raft of accusations locally.

The terracotta jacket, which was famously mistaken by Prince Harry as a giraffe costume, has attracted much attention since owner, Ian Hodgkinson, began wearing it five years ago- and the gag which was started on social media, became big news over the weekend.

Maria Fowler of TOWIE fame, Nick Knowles of DIY SOS fame, Craig Phillips, the winner of the first Big Brother and even Brandon Lewis MP, all joined in on the prank, tweeting it and liking the posts throughout the morning of April 1st.

Ian Hodgkinson, Managing Director of the company based on Pride Park, said: “We came up with the idea and just ran with it. My work mobile was inundated with calls from clients, suppliers and friends over the weekend, and we were shocked at just how far the gag actually went.

“We even told people that the new range of clothing would be available in both male and female ranges, and would come in a variety of colours including: ‘terracotta brick’ ‘cement grey’ ‘high vis yellow’ and ‘port-a-loo blue’- which really made us laugh here at the office.”

Ian ran a competition for the most amusing comments and for the most helpful contributions leading to the brick jackets safe return. It was announced earlier today that Mo Suleman from Derby Museums had won the prize, which was a free meal for two at Seven Bar & Restaurant.

Ian continued: “Mo really got behind the prank and posted it on a variety of social media sites. My favourite comment of his was ‘With a jacket like that, the writing was on the wall.  I hope they find him and come down on him like a tonne of bricks! The prank was so popular that it made me wonder if producing the range was in fact a good idea!”