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At least he didn't mix up the Queen and Freddie Mercury

This is not - repeat, not - Jeffrey Osborne. (Photo: REUTERS)

Ah, finally. A good news story involving U.K. Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne. 

Economic gloom and doom be damned: Britain appears to be collectively delighted that U.S. President Barack Obama, according to the Financial Times, mistakenly called Osborne by the wrong name during the recent G8 meetings. (Confession. Some of that delight has crossed the Atlantic and landed here at One Yonge. At my desk, specifically.)

The FT said Osborne's attempts to "explain the complexities of tax avoidance to G8 leaders were thrown off course when Mr. Obama interjected three times to say he agreed with 'Jeffrey.'"

That's right - Jeffrey. As in, Jeffrey Osborne, the singer who gave us "On the Wings of Love."

Obama then apologized, sorta, to Osborne by saying, "I'm sorry, man. I must have confused you with my favorite R&B singer." Let's assume that is something that has never happened to George before. Let's assume that.

"London-born Mr. Osborne, who is 42 and white, is unlikely to be mistaken for the Rhode Island-born singer, who is black and 23 years his senior," Sky News reported, with uncharacteristic restraint.

And just in case Obama and Osborne (George, not Jeffrey) cross paths again, The Guardian has provided a handy guide to telling the two apart. 

Jeffrey was pretty happy about the whole thing, it seems, telling Sky that he was "not really aware that (Obama) was that much of a fan." 

George is seeing the humour. This morning, he tweeted: "One unexpected breakthrough from G8 - offer to sing with legend @_JeffreyOsborne. Jeff you wouldn't suggest a duet if you heard me sing."

So that was fun, right? An apology, though, if you've now got the 1982 hit as an earworm. And if not, why not?


Jennifer Quinn is a foreign affairs and investigative reporter at the Star. As a journalist with the Associated Press, based in London, she wrote extensively about British politics. Follow her on Twitter @JQStar.


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