"Who are you?" - Blair's first mobile phone message

Tony Blair uses a mobile phone camera to take a photograph of himself with Sea Cadets during a visit to Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy in Dorset, southern England April 5, 2005. REUTERS/Stefan Rousseau/Pool/Files

PARIS (Reuters) - It’s not often that former British prime minister Tony Blair is not recognised. But his first foray into the world of mobile phone messaging left one friend puzzled.

Blair told a conference organised by France’s ruling UMP party in Paris he got his first mobile phone six months ago.

“When I lived at Downing Street I never had one. I got my first mobile the day I left,” said Blair, who is now a Middle East envoy.

“I sent an SMS (short message service) to a friend, but given my lack of technological knowledge I didn’t realise the telephone hadn’t identified me as the sender. I got an SMS back saying: ‘But sorry, who are you?’”, Blair said.

Reporting by Nick Antonovics; editing by Elizabeth Piper