Is that Gavin Barwell? No, it's Gary Barlow! Civil servant stunned by Downing ...

The switchboard at 10 Downing Street — or 'Switch', as it is known — is renowned for its efficiency and effectiveness.

Since long before the days of Google or smartphones, its team of operators have been beloved of Prime Ministers and parliamentarians for their ability to track down anyone, anywhere - on one occasion even in the depths of the Amazon rainforest.

But even the best sometimes make mistakes.

It has emerged that a senior civil servant in a major Whitehall department recently rang and asked to be put through to Theresa May's chief of staff, Gavin Barwell. 

Sadly, the operator misheard and instead put them through to Take That frontman Gary Barlow, who was baffled to receive the call.

Gary Barlow pictured outside 10 Downing Street with Pudsey the bear, for a Children in Need event hosted by Samantha Cameron

Gary Barlow pictured outside 10 Downing Street with Pudsey the bear, for a Children in Need event hosted by Samantha Cameron 

'Switch has all sorts of numbers for all sorts of people,' a source told the Daily Mail. 

'Anyone who has dealt with them will be on their database — they have thousands upon thousands of numbers.'

It is unknown why Switch might have Gary Barlow's mobile number at their fingertips - but the family-friendly singer was heavily involved in the Queen's Diamond Jubilee celebrations, with Prince Harry even featuring on a Barlow-penned track.

And he has helped raise money for Children In Need, including at a Downing Street fundraiser hosted by Samantha Cameron. 

Although Google has made worldwide connectivity easier than ever, Switch's ability to connect Britain's leaders to whomever they wishes to speak to has been legendary for decades. 

On the Downing Street website a former head of Switch recalls: 'We were based on the third floor in the attic, the Switchboard. 

'There were only 8 operators at the time and at the time I started we had just a little keyboard. 

'There were no screens or anything and all our information we used to collate ourselves and write in a little book. 

'Over the years, once we got new technology, we used to transfer it onto the screen but initially

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