Clarke Gayford shocks George FM listeners with April Fools' prank

Clarke Gayford briefly reprised his role as a George FM radio host on Monday morning for an elaborate April Fools' prank that left listeners in disbelief.

The dance music radio station announced the 'First Man, First Thing' show featuring Gayford as a replacement for current hosts Kara Rickard, Stu Tolan and Tammy Davis, sending fans scrambling for answers.

A fake press release claimed the new morning show would feature 10 percent fishing-based content every week, demanded by Gayford, who hosts fishing TV show Fish Of The Day on Three.

During his first voice break, Gayford, who left his role hosting the breakfast show with Aroha Harawira in 2015, called being back in the studio a "strangely familiar yet unfamiliar feeling".

The 41-year-old partner of Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern then took calls from confused listeners and played songs until he let fans in on the joke.

"It's heading towards eight o'clock, I suppose I've got to do time checks and all that other hoo-ha," he said on-air.

"What is the date? The first of April. April 1. Good morning..." he added, before being joined by the show's real hosts to reveal the prank.

"Damn, started genuinely freaking out then my watch reminded me it's April Fools, LMAO," one fan reacted on social media.

"Clarke Gayford!? This must be a joke...hang on it's April! F**k, this is good from you guys," said another.

"Not going to lie, I was wild for a good couple of minutes," wrote one Instagram user.

While he's not likely to legitmately return to radio hosting anytime soon, Gayford continues to juggle presenting Fish Of The Day and being a stay-at-home dad to his and Ardern's first child, Neve.