The spaghetti crop failure was first aired on BBC I think, they certainly did it in 1957.http://news.bbc.co.uk/onthisday/hi/dates/stories/april/1/newsid_2819000/2819261.stm
Actually it would have fallen flat for many Brits at that time as they wouldn't know what spaghetti was, I didn't, but then I was only ten.
Locally our local media, and in particular the newspaper, does quite a good job. From time to time all the local media actually do a combined one which helps to make it more believable when both radion stations, the television station and the newspaper are all giving news reports on the same item.
One year was the unveiling of a massive development on our north coast, apparently which had been developed in great secrecy. There was a double page spread in the newspaper and even an advertising feature section which is common here for real major projects with the various building companies and subcontractors all getting involved.