Page last updated at 12:32 GMT, Monday, 29 December 2008

Lusardi calls 999 to get to panto

Linda Lusardi
Linda Lusardi dialled 999 because she was stuck in traffic

Former glamour girl Linda Lusardi dialled 999 after getting stuck in heavy traffic on her way to a pantomime appearance, police have said.

Ms Lusardi, 50, called emergency services to ask if she could drive on the M25's hard shoulder so she could reach the High Wycombe theatre in time.

A Hertfordshire police spokesman said: "The request was denied and she was given suitable words of advice."

Ms Lusardi is playing the Wicked Queen in Snow White at the Swan Theatre.

The former Emmerdale actress was on her way to the matinee performance when she made the call.

The police spokesman said: "We received a phone call from a woman asking if she could have emergency permission to use the hard shoulder of the M25 as she was late for an appointment.

"Being late for work is not a reason to call 999, contact the police or use emergency measures. Use of the hard shoulder is restricted for emergency service vehicles only.

"In particular, we would also strongly urge people to only phone 999 in an absolute emergency, such as where there is immediate threat to life or property."

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