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Sunrise's Matt Shirvington tricks viewers with April Fools prank live on-air

While some fans said they were fooled by the ‘convincing’ prank, others criticised his acting skills.

Sunrise host Matt ‘Shirvo’ Shirvington managed to trick quite a few viewers on Monday morning when he announced live on-air that he would be heading to the Paris Olympics as part of an April Fools’ Day prank.

The former Olympic sprinter, who held the Australian 100m national sprint title from 1998 to 2002, surprised his colleagues when he said he had requested some time off work because he was “coming out of retirement”.

Sunrise’s Nat Barr and Matt ‘Shirvo’ Shirvington.
Sunrise’s Matt ‘Shirvo’ Shirvington announced he would be heading to the Paris Olympics as part of an April Fools’ Day prank. Photo: Channel Seven

“A month ago a guy called Craig Pickering, who is the high-performance head coach of the Australian national men’s relay team, reached out to me and asked if I would be interested in trying to make a comeback onto the Australian team,” he shared.

While he’s been retired for over 15 years, Shirvo said he began to seriously consider the idea when he received a call from three-time Olympic athlete Andrew Murphy, who coaches Rohan Browning.

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“He said, ‘Shirvo, this isn’t about running fast’, and I was like, ‘Thank god because I’m so out of shape’,” he remarked. “He said, ‘It’s about adding experience to the team. We have fast guys at the moment. All you need to do is go a smidge under 11 seconds and you can add some value to this team’.

“I’ve said yes, so I’m going to take a bit of time off for the Paris Olympic Games.”

 Sunrise’s Nat Barr and Edwina Bartholomew.
Nat Barr and Edwina Bartholomew appeared baffled by the news. Photos: Channel Seven

Sunrise began to play footage of Shirvo sprinting at the Sydney Olympic Games in 2000 as his fellow presenters appeared baffled by the news.

“No way! What! Oh my gosh,” Edwina Bartholomew said, while Nat Barr added, “This is very exciting!”.

Shirvo continued with the lie, saying his preparation had started a couple of weeks ago and he’s “definitely trimmed down and gotten a little bit faster”.

He then asked his colleagues if they’ll miss him while he’s in Paris, before announcing it was all a prank for April Fools’ Day.

“You had us!” Mark Beretta said sarcastically as Nat and Eddy revealed they were in on the joke.

“I thought we could’ve kept it going,” Nat admitted, followed by Eddy who remarked, “You gotta let it sit for at least half an hour, Shirvo!”.

Viewers admit they had been fooled

While his colleagues might not have been shocked by the prank, several viewers confessed on social media that they had been fooled.

“You had me sucked in,” one person shared, while another added, “You fooled me. Well done”.

“That was very convincing,” a third said, with a different user writing, “I fell for that too well done Shirvo”.

“I still would’ve backed ya!” someone else replied. “Who knows, you could’ve inspired loads of us to get off our butts and follow your training regime”.

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Meanwhile, other fans weren’t so gullible, with one viewer commenting: “I knew, the second he started.”

“Don’t take up acting!” another joked, followed by someone who said, “Bad acting Nat”.

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