As a former teenaged cellist I was pleased to read a BBC report claiming that Cello Scrotum, a debilitating and painful illness, much feared in the 1980s, is a hoax. From the report:
Elaine Murphy – now Baroness Murphy – dreamt up the painful complaint in the 1970s, sending a report to the British Medical Journal.
She came clean when the hoax resurfaced in the 2008 Christmas edition.
A BMJ spokesman said the inclusion and subsequent debunking of “cello scrotum” had “added to the gaiety of life”.
Unfortunately, it seems the complaint, which was invented in the 1970s, has already made it into scientific journals, raising the fascinating possibility that people may actually have received treatment for it, or perhaps have used it to explain an inconvenient rash.
Julian Lloyd-Webber was not available for comment.