UK

Vampires and veggie sausages in Foreign Office's oddest calls

A long-haired cat in a bed Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption One caller said a stray cat had peed on his bed

Questions about vampires in Poland and vegetarian sausages are among the most bizarre phone calls made to consular staff, the Foreign Office has said.

It has compiled the strangest calls from Britons abroad in 2018 in a bid to remind people its helpline is meant to be used in an emergency.

It received more than 330,000 calls from people asking for help.

One person in the Netherlands had just watched the film Braveheart and called to ask questions about the plot.

Someone in the Canary Islands requested the Foreign Office persuade his hotel to give him a different room after a stray cat had "broken into" his current one and peed on his bed.

Image caption One person called to ask about Strictly Come Dancing results

Another caller in the US phoned up to ask which contestant had been voted off Strictly Come Dancing the previous night.

In 2018, consular staff have dealt with more than 3,400 people who were taken to hospital and 4,900 who were arrested overseas.

The FCO also issued more than 29,600 emergency travel documents.

But some of the other odder queries to the Foreign Office included:

  • A man checking whether there were vampires in Poland because a woman he met online had asked what blood type he was before they met for their first date
  • Another man requesting the Foreign Office speak to a massage parlour in Bangkok on his behalf, as he fell asleep during a massage and felt he shouldn't have to pay for it
  • A caller in New Delhi asking what time the British High Commission opened, as he'd heard it sold vegetarian sausages and he wanted to buy some
  • A person in Italy asking the embassy to help arrange their wedding, recommend a florist, and get them tickets to see the Pope
  • A man in Kuwait asking if any Foreign Office staff wanted to adopt his puppies
  • A caller asking for a list of women in Argentina whom he might be able to marry
  • A man asking where he should send a 5ft piece of wood that he had found on a beach that he thought may be from a British warship from the 1700s.

A Foreign Office spokesman said: "I can regretfully confirm that the Foreign Office isn't able to offer advice on vampires, rogue stray cats or Strictly contestants.

"And our capacity to deploy veggie sausages remains sadly lacking."

"If you find yourself in an emergency in another country, contact the nearest British embassy, High Commission or consulate and our consular staff will do everything they can to help."