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UK's Blair asks ''Where the bloody hell am I?''

Written by: Staff

CANBERRA, Mar 27 (Reuters) British Prime Minister Tony Blair demonstrated his affinity for Australia today and threw his support behind the country's controversial ''bloody hell'' tourism ads which aim to attract foreign tourists down under.

The ad campaign, which ends with a bikini-clad woman on a beach asking ''so where the bloody hell are you?'', was temporarily banned from British television because of its language.

Blair made light of the issue during an address to a state lunch in Australia's parliament house, saying he had hardly stopped since arriving late Saturday after a 19-hour direct flight to Australia from Brussels.

''And here I am, in the Australian parliament building at what I think is something like four o'clock in the morning in the UK. And so I'm thinking, so where the bloody hell am I?'' he said.

Blair earlier spoke of his early memories of Australia from his time living in the southern city of Adelaide from the age of 2 to 5, saying Australia was in his spirit, if not in his blood.

Howard also quoted from the campaign in his welcoming remarks when he referred to Blair's early links with Australia, asking him: ''Well where in the hell have you been?'' Reuters SHB DB1209

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