BBC weatherman delivers own baby girl
A man used to making predictions failed to foresee one of the most pivotal and dramatic moments in his life.
Simon King, a BBC weatherman based at MediaCity, had to deliver his own baby girl when his wife's labour took much less time than expected.
Simon, 32, was caught out when his wife Emma's waters broke at about 2.30am on Saturday following a spicy curry at a local Indian restaurant on the Friday night. Both expected a longer labour because their first child, Noah, now aged 2, took 12 hours to emerge into the world.
Assuming it would be a similar experience, Simon - who lives in Altrincham - wasn't in any particular hurry and tells Ariel the contractions weren't that alarming: 'At 5am, the contractions were still about 7 to 8 minutes apart. I was thinking we still had hours and that [the birth] might be lunchtime or early afternoon.'
Emma, in fact, was tidying up and even straightening her hair shortly before the pain escalated. Forty-five minutes later, Nell was born while Simon was talking to a 'cool as cucumber' 999 operator, who gave him instructions about what to do, including fetching clean towels.
'The most petrifying thing for me was when I saw the head, the realization of, I'm going to have to deliver the baby here in this bedroom. The whole idea of being in a hospital and being with professionals was just out of the window,' he says.
He prayed that everything would be all right - and it was. Simon was able to breathe a 'massive sigh of relief' when the little baby girl produced her first cry.
The weatherman for 5live and 6 Music says he will be given a copy of the 999 recording for posterity. Like any good weather forecaster, he is also looking far into the future and plans to retell the story of Nell's birth on her wedding and on significant birthdays.
'I want to embarrass her,' he says good-naturedly.
But what if the 999 recording embarrasses him?
'It might be a little cringe-worthy to listen to,' he admits, 'but you've got to have it if it's available.'
Simon, as you would expect, is now a very proud father. Tweeting his friends and followers, he said, 'In my impartial BBC opinion, she is gorgeous.'