James O'Brien is left chuckling as caller describes accidentally setting fire to ex-PM's car

3 February 2023, 14:03

This James O'Brien caller 'helped' to set fire to the Prime Minister's car in 1976...

By Hannah Holland

James O'Brien couldn't help but laugh after a caller explained how he accidentally "helped" set fire to then Prime Minister James Callaghan’s car in 1976.

After builders in Stoke-on-Trent accidentally destroyed a sculpture whilst widening a road, James O'Brien asked his listeners to share their most significant work-related mistakes.

James was left laughing when Paul in Caterham phoned in to say: "I helped to set fire to the prime minister’s car back in 1976."

Paul then explained how in the first week of his apprenticeship with the Department of Environment, he had accidentally set fire to James Callaghan's car whilst assisting a mechanic.

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After illustrating exactly how he set fire to the car, he explained the mechanic instructed him to throw water over it - to which he accidentally threw water over the mechanic.

"The whole thing got right out of hand and the car was totalled", Paul said before adding that luckily he "didn't really need to tell anyone" since everyone could clearly see the flames engulfing the car.

When James asked how much trouble he got into, Paul shared that his line manager simply said: "Extinguish it from your mind."