In the episode “Calamity Jen” we see Moss watching an advert announcing the new emergency service number… The advert goes like this: “From today, dialling 999 won’t get you the emergency services. And that’s not the only thing that’s changing. Nicer ambulances, faster response times and better-looking drivers mean they’re not just ‘the’ emergency services – they’re ‘your’ emergency services. So, remember the new number: 0118 999 881 999 119 725…3″
Did you know that in most EU countries you can dial either 999, 911 or 110 and they will all work? that’s so international visotors can use the number they are used to in an emergency!
The context of the joke is that a few years before, in 2003, the UK changed another of its famous direct dial numbers. Until 2003 you could call directory enquiries (to find out the phone number of someone if you knew their name and address) by dialling 192. That system was privatized and you had to dial 118 NNN where the NNN was the number assigned to a commercial service provider, the most famous of which became 118 118.