Yeastbound carriageway: how a lorry-load of Marmite brought the M1 to a standstill
For once it didn't matter where you stood on the great Marmite divide – news that a tanker carrying more than 23 tonnes of the yeast extract had overturned on the M1 prompted hosannas from headline writers and united a nation of Twitter wits.
The tanker was heading to the company's factory in Burton-on-Trent, Staffordshire, when it spilled its contents after a collision with a motor caravan. Part of the M1 near Rotherham was shut after Monday night's incident, which required a massive clean-up. The tanker driver was taken to hospital but no one was seriously hurt, police said.
Meanwhile, the airwaves and Twitter were deluged by a slurry of jokes and puns. "Marmite lorry spill causes jam on M1," proclaimed the first, inevitable headline.
Radio 4's Today programme was also bombarded with punning emails. The best, according to the presenters, read: "Was the Marmite crash on the yeast-bound carriageway?"
By lunchtime Marmite was trending on Twitter, above George Osborne's Autumn Statement.
One wit tweeted: "Marmite lorry crashes. Some people will love this news, others will hate it."
Spread alert: Jokes you'll either love or hate
Radio stations were flooded with comedy comments alongside the puns flooding Twitter.
@Queen_UK (Elizabeth Windsor): One hates marmite
@MetroUK: Marmite spill closes M1. Spread the news
@im_seo_Alan: Love it or hate it? It seems this lorry driver hated it. I guess quite a few motorists do now too
@clurr: There's 20 tonnes of marmite on the m1! quick, to sheffield with toast
@badgerwriting: Marmite' motorway clean up begins on the M1? Makes a difference to jam...
Jeremy Vine, the Radio 2 presenter, revived one of his brother Tim's jokes with: "I won a prize the other day. A lifetime's supply of Marmite. One jar."
The spillage distracted from news that Marmite employees have voted for strike action against brand owners Unilever over changes to pension contributions. Tom Watson, the campaigning Labour MP, tweeted: "Marmite strike? I guess public opinion will be divided."
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