BBC News

'Skegness Monster' was James May TV show hoax

image captionThe footage was filmed and uploaded on YouTube by programme makers

A sea monster filmed swimming off the Lincolnshire coast has been revealed as a television hoax designed to bring tourists "flooding back in".

Footage of the Skegness Monster was viewed more than a million times on YouTube and featured in several newspapers in August.

But the fake monster, operated by divers, was made for James May's Man Lab on BBC Two.

The presenter said faking the monster, called Susan, was "not dishonest".

He said in the science-themed programme: "The other day we were standing around in the Man Lab when suddenly somebody said, 'Why would anyone go to Skegness?'

"To be honest, we couldn't think of a reason, so we decided to create one."

image captionLord Biro drew the Skegness Monster before the hoax

Skegness Mayor Mark Anderson, in an interview for the programme, said he welcomed the monster and it had made people more interested in the resort.

"Thank you, Mr Monster, for actually giving us the added value of people's interest in our resort," he said.

Nottingham artist Lord Biro drew a piece called the Skegness Monster several years ago based on previous sightings.

He said he was "really upset" the footage was not genuine.

"The rotten swines," said the satirical artist, whose real name is Dave Bishop.

"I still believe there are sea serpents [and] I'm sure one has swum past Skegness before."

More on this story

  • Lord Biro: What motivates a serial fringe candidate?