No matter how desperate you got whilst travelling Australia, you’d never call the British consul asking for a bit of help with Minecraft, would you? Well…

We’re just a little ashamed. Once again, the Know Before You Go campaign from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) has issued its weirdest, daftest and most bizarre consular calls of the last 12 months. And it’s shown some members of the British public* to be… well, let’s just say we’re not angry, just disappointed…

The calls included:

  • A man planning to move to Spain who was worried he would encounter nudists walking through the streets
  • A homesick expat asking where he could buy English bacon
  • A lady in Lebanon looking for help to recruit an English butler
  • A holidaymaker trying to find travel advice for a visit to Coventry
  • A European filmmaker looking for an English pensioner to play a part in his new film
  • A woman who was disappointed the British Embassy had not sent someone to give her a tour of St. Petersburg on her arrival in Russia
  • A British man asking for assistance to get illegal employment in Singapore
  • A mother asking for the contact details of a young British YouTuber, as her son was a fan of his Minecraft videos
  • A confused businessman looking for information on the construction of plug sockets
  • A man in South Korea asking what he could do with his old pound notes

*Other countries are also represented, which comes as something of a relief.

Foreign and Commonwealth Office Minister James Duddridge said:

“Our consular staff are a helpful bunch and do an amazing job helping out Brits in trouble around the world – but it is important that people remember they are there to help with genuine emergencies and not as an alternative to directory enquiries.

“Every minute they spend handling a call requesting advice on butlers or nudists is time taken away from dealing with life and death cases, so I urge the public to think before picking up the phone.”

Just to be clear, if you’re travelling Australia and find yourself in hospital, arrested, without a passport or dead, those are reasons to involve the British High Commission.

Have you needed consular help while you’ve been in Australia? Tell us about your experience (if you can) here.

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