David Cameron, Barack Obama, Helle Thorning-Schmidt and Michelle Obama
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Danish reaction to Obama selfie is 'humorous'

Some newspapers have criticised Barack Obama, David Cameron and the Danish Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt for taking a picture of themselves at the Nelson Mandela memorial service on Tuesday.

Some have labelled the taking of a "selfie" at such an event disrespectful, but others argue it shows a human side to our world leaders.

Karl Erik Stougaard, online managing editor at the Danish newspaper Politiken, told the Today programme: "It was just a free politician in a unique moment of joyfulness."

He added that the reaction to the story in Denmark "has been humorous... people find it funny".

Ambassador Tony Brenton, former ambassador to Russia, said it is not uncommon for world leaders to use such events to strengthen relations.

"There is, in diplomacy, a concept of the 'working funeral'," he said.

First broadcast on the Today programme on Wednesday 11 December.

  • 11 Dec 2013
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