Diary

Those DVDs Obama gave Gordon Brown? They were Region 1 after all

Remember everyone speculating as to whether the DVDs that Barack Obama gave to Gordon Brown instead of a gift of substance were Region 1 or not? Turns out they are Region 1, and thus not playable in the UK:

While not exactly a film buff, Gordon Brown was touched when Barack Obama gave him a set of 25 classic American movies – including Psycho, starring Anthony Perkins on his recent visit to Washington.

Alas, when the PM settled down to begin watching them the other night, he found there was a problem.

The films only worked in DVD players made in North America and the words “wrong region” came up on his screen. Although he mournfully had to put the popcorn away, he is unlikely to jeopardise the special relationship – or “special partnership”, as we are now supposed to call it – by registering a complaint.

A Downing Street spokesman said he was “confident” that any gift Obama gave Brown would have been “well thought through,” but referred me to the White House for assistance on the “technical aspects”.

A White House spokesman sniggered when I put the story to him and he was still looking into the matter when my deadline came last night.

Bingo! Chalk up another clueless mistake for the Obama White House! Hat tip to my lovely girlfriend that ran across this news article today.