England's former boozehound-in-chief, Tony Blair, apparently plagiarized a fictional scene from The Queen—the Oscar-winning 2006 movie starring Helen Mirren, which Blair said he never watched—and tried to pass it off as reality in his memoir.
In A Journey, Blair claims that the Queen said to him: "You are my 10th prime minister. The first was Winston. That was before you were born." In [screenwriter Peter] Morgan's script to the 2006 film The Queen, Mirren, in the title role, tells Michael Sheen's Blair: "You are my 10th prime minister, Mr Blair. My first was Winston Churchill."
Morgan made those lines up, so it's really weird that Blair (or his ghostwriter) remembers them actually occurring—especially since Blair claimed he didn't even see The Queen. Here's Morgan's attempt to explain the bizarre overlap:
There are three possibilities. The first is I guessed absolutely perfectly, which is highly unlikely; the second is Blair decided to endorse what I imagined as the official line; and the third is that he had one gin and tonic too many and confused the scene in the film with what had actually happened, and this I find amusing because he always insisted he had never even seen it.
I wish I could pretend that I had inside knowledge, but I made up those lines. No minutes are taken of meetings between prime ministers and monarchs and the convention is that no one ever speaks about them, so I didn't even attempt to find out what had been said.
Tony Blair: Confusing reality with wishful thinking since the 2003 invasion of Iraq. [Telegraph, image via Getty]