Rumours global superstar singer Ed Sheeran was in Exmouth on Sunday turned out to be a prank.
Social media went into overdrive from lunchtime when posts appeared saying the star had been spotted on Exmouth seafront and in the town.
The claims were made after the singer was photographed in Exeter on Saturday at the university’s Streatham campus where it is reported he was watching his wife, Cherry Seaborn, in a hockey match.
Darrell Trigs said his post on social media – claiming the star was walking along the seafront – was ‘a simple experiment’ to highlight what he called ‘Exmouth Gossip-itis’.
On Sunday evening Darrell came clean, writing ‘it’s time I put my hand up’, adding ‘sorry if I got your hopes up’.
His admission on social media was met with good humour as he posted: ‘Today was a simple experiment to witness the phenomenon that is known as “ExmouthGossip-itus.
‘Ed Sheeran was never in Exmouth and all it took was a simple screenshot and an apparent sighting from me on here and it went mental. Exmouth never fails to deliver.
‘No need for facts when you have a rumour circulating.
‘Have a great evening. Sorry if I got your hopes up.’
Darrell added: ‘I’ve received a few PM’s (private messages) since posting this. Turns out a few local businesses benefited well from today’s escapades and Exmouth seafront got fairly busy too. This makes me really happy.’
In support of the joke, Carol May wrote: “Bet there’ll be loads of peeps going to bed with a smile on their face after Darrell C Trigs’s post this afternoon about Ed Sheeran- I know I will! Nice one mate!”
Ed Sheeran was photographed leaving the University of Exeter on Saturday by second year student Beth Elliott.
Beth, who had been leaving the gym with friends when she spotted Ed, told The Exeter Tab she asked the star for a selfie after he finished watching his wife play hockey with her team, the Harleston Magpies.
“He was watching the girls’ hockey match as his wife was playing for the team ‘Pies’ I think,” said Beth. “I didn’t speak to him really, just asked for a pic as he was walking away.”