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Emergency response

Victoria Derbyshire | 16:36 PM, Friday, 21 September 2007

calling 999 on a mobileListen to this - it's the actual audio from a 999 call made by Leo as his pregnant wife's contractions get stronger. She'd planned a home birth, but the midwife was stuck in traffic - what could Leo do but ring 999?

Listen to the 999 call (8min) (Requires RealPlayer)

Leo and his wife were on Monday's programme.

Read Leo's story at Guardian Unlimited


  1. At 07:35 PM on 21 Sep 2007, peter jannece wrote:

    About BBC programmes that have dubbed laughter.
    Could the Beeb be more honest and broadcast exactly what applause and laughter as it happens in the studio and not add it on because it sounds so false.

  2. At 08:06 PM on 23 Sep 2007, Robson Danton Green wrote:

    Has any listener seen the great blue wall going up around the UK Olympic site?
    I tried to walk it yesterday, but it must be over 8 miles in length.
    Where people have drawn on it, there are gangs of painters over painting it to its original colour.
    It is about 8 feet high.
    Walberswick Suffolk. UK

  3. At 08:20 AM on 24 Sep 2007, Robson Danton Green wrote:

    Its very hard to see inside the wall/fence of the Olympic area without a ladder.
    Walberswick Suffolk.
    PS If in the UK, we always make a point of listening to your programme and the evening one at Five.

  4. At 08:26 AM on 24 Sep 2007, Robson Danton Green wrote:

    Its very hard to see inside the wall/fence of the Olympic area without a ladder.
    Walberswick Suffolk.
    PS If in the UK, we always make a point of listening to your programme and the evening one at Five.

  5. At 11:12 AM on 24 Sep 2007, Franz Sigmar wrote:

    Ouch !!!

    I really don't know what to make of that, other than it sounds very painful having a baby and I'm pleased I'm a chap.

    Errr... well at least the 999 operators know how to read instructions !

    I feel a bit distressed now - time for a cuppa !

    In sympathy,

    PS. I hope everything everything was ok in the end and the baby is now a bundle of joy.

  6. At 11:25 AM on 24 Sep 2007, Greg Long wrote:

    As a regular listener I am very frustrated that you let comments and opinions on air without challenging them. Here's a few which are factually wrong but never seem to be challenged and hence are repeated as 'everyone knows that ....'

    National Debt is at record levels under Gordon Brown (today's phone in) - unture

    We let more asylum seekers into our country than any other in Europe --- untrue - see Austria for example

    We are the most heavily taxed country in Europe - untrue- cf with France and Germany

    These are just a few. I would be willing to sit with you in the studio and blow a large horn every time someone comes up with one of these. As a responsible broadcaster who I have a great respect for, can you occasionally challenge these statements?

  7. At 11:32 AM on 24 Sep 2007, Sezdee wrote:

    What an amazing phone call I'm sitting in my office with tears streaming down my face what a wonderful experience to share with everyone - thank you so much.

  8. At 11:34 AM on 24 Sep 2007, Sara Bennett wrote:

    What a wonderful piece of radio. So pleased I keep a box of hankies on my desk.

    Amongst all the horrible things we hear about, it's so lovely to listen to something so wonderful.

  9. At 11:43 AM on 24 Sep 2007, Sigmar wrote:

    I've just listene to the whole recording on the radio and now I'm crying too.

    Lol, I'm not sure when I last cried over something on the media.

    I was fearing for the worst listening to the blog clip, thank gooness the radio one had such a fantastic ending.

    Congratulations to the whole family. And a very well done to the young lady on 999.

    Phew, I need another cuppa !


  10. At 11:47 AM on 24 Sep 2007, steve paton wrote:

    Amazing radio...thankyou.Great broadcasting..thats the real BBC, well done Victoria and your team!

  11. At 11:56 AM on 24 Sep 2007, Sigmar wrote:

    Wow, I'm so pleased the the full clip that was broadcast on radio five live turned out so fantastically (the blog clip was cut a littl bit short)

    Now I'm in tears aswell.

    Congratulations to the family and the excellent 999 operator.

    Phew, time for another cuppa !


  12. At 12:18 PM on 24 Sep 2007, leo bell wrote:

    As a fellow leo it makes me proud to have heard and experienced this emotional event i say experience because it felt as if i was right there with them all wonderfull stuff from five live in a time when we so rarely hear wonderfull things on tv and radio

  13. At 12:22 PM on 24 Sep 2007, peter henson wrote:

    Our second son was also born at home without the aide of the Midwife who was also stuck in traffic. My Wife delivered my son on her own in the bath with little help from me and no emergency phone support. He was very relaxed and benefited from a very calm birth environment and he still benefits with a very calm disposition and well adjusted personality today.
    There is something to be said for a non interventionist birthing environment and its impact on a childs personality

  14. At 12:33 PM on 24 Sep 2007, Heidi Early wrote:

    I'm in floods along with everyone else after listening to the 999 call. The same thing happened to me last year. First baby, home birth. The midwife got lost, my husband had two phones on the go (Unfortunately no speaker phone), one with hospital, one with midwife asking directions! Jackie in hospital was amazingly calm and talked him through it all. Oliver was born on the lounge floor two hours after me waking up 'needing the loo'. He gushed out with the waters and me shouting 'catch him'. A big congratulations to all on this morning's programme, a privilege to listen to.

  15. At 12:44 PM on 24 Sep 2007, Roy Haig wrote:

    Fantastic radio Victoria.
    I also liked the later interview with Leo & Katie, but you know and I am sorry to have to add this, I must complain about the 'Sports' advert which followed the interviews. These adverts are like demented idiots, why can't they introduce sports events in a calm manner!

  16. At 03:13 PM on 24 Sep 2007, Ron Bryant wrote:

    Probably the most powerful and dramatic thing I have ever heard on radio or T.V. well done to all concerned.

  17. At 03:49 PM on 24 Sep 2007, David wrote:

    I listened to 'that call' in the car this morning. I had to pull over as I could not see through my tears. I am 49 years old and have not cried like that for years. I am waiting for the family to get home from work when I will sit them all around the pc and play it again.
    Thanks, really great to listen to it. What a fantastic real life story.

  18. At 11:37 AM on 28 Sep 2007, Irene Walters wrote:


    Not sure if this will be able to be read as I know nothing about HTML tags. I am totally blind and have quite surprised myself by finding your blog first go. I need speech to read the screen and some websites are a nightmare without sight.

    The 999 call brought tears a-plenty and it took me right back to when my two boys were born. They are now 22 and 20 years old and it only seems like yesterday.

    I think the blog is a wonderful idea. Sometimes I'm dying to say something and can't get through.

    On a more general note, I do think Five Live is an excellent source of information from here in the UK and worldwide.
    (I think perhaps that this should have been an e-mail).
    I have followed you right from GMR and you are the most terrific presenter. Would I be correct in thinking that you could be related to Alex Derbyshire as your voices are so much alike.
    I'm now going to have a look at other people's comments but you did say you wanted some feedback. (Now you're probably regretting that after this lot).

    I'll sign off for now, but I must say that Five Live do have some excellent presenters. The evening slot between 10 and 1 AM is particularly interesting as is Up All Night and I really do enjoy your phone in.

    Do please get back to me if you can. I'd love to hear from you.

    All the very best. Irene.

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