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In any Hollywood movie, if someone has to dial a phone number, it will start 555
and there's a reason for that, not only is it American tradition, but the 5550 block is blocked out
across America, for dramatic numbers, so all numbers that start 5550 with a couple of rare exceptions,
will never get through.
Now, there have been a couple movies that have tried to use other numbers because hearing 555
does take you out of the action a little, and Bruce Almighty managed to spark a whole load of people
trying to call God when his number was flashed up on screen.
Now of course that's slightly worse in America because the caller doesn't just pay for the phone call to a cellphone, the person with the cellphone pays as well.
So, suddenly, someone was getting 20 or 30 calls an hour and all they were asking for was God.
What you might not know though is that Britain also has numbers like that
in one of the few good decisions that Ofcom, the regulator has ever made about phone numbers,
there are a few blocks marked out. In London, it's 0207946, there's several blocks in cities across Britain,
and for rural areas, an entire area code, 01632 that is guaranteed never to connect.
There's a mobile phone number too, 077009, that whole block will never, ever get through to anything.
And at the exchange level, well, it just cuts you off straight away. If you're on a cellphone, you'll never get through.
And if you're on one of these, an old-fashioned land line, you won't even get halfway through dialling it before