The government has confirmed that April Fool's day will be postponed until June for the second year running, after another week of gloom made it "completely inappropriate" for the media to issue fake news stories at this time.
'We have a nuclear meltdown in Japan, war in Libya, and an economic crisis to boot' said a spokesman. 'Newspaper articles about pinch-punch-first-of-the-month asbos, polenta being made a compulsory lunch component at Free Schools, or the collapse of the coalition will not be tolerated until the national mood is lifted by at least two successive months of sustained economic growth.'
The government stopped short of censoring all stories with a humorous bent, allowing limited speculation on Kate Middleton's wedding night underwear, and the outcome of the forthcoming referendum on voting reform, to continue.
'It's for your own good, Britain' continued the spokesman. 'You may not be able to laugh now, but by the time we've cleared the deficit you'll be hysterical for evermore.'