Brian Blessed speaks candidly about the day he helped a woman deliver her baby

The last thing any of us expect to happen when we're pregnant is to give birth while walking in the park. However, for one woman who was unfortunate enough to experience this, she has actor Brian Blessed to thank for delivering her baby.

Best known for his role as Prince Vultan in the 1980 movie Flash Gordon, the 78-year-old recalled the moment he delivered a baby in the park while on BBC Radio 4’s Midweek today.

Explaining how it occurred in 1963, the actor, who was starring in Z Cars at the time, told astonished listeners that he bit the umbilical cord.

"It was years ago, around 1963, I was in Z Cars and I was running all over Richmond Park and a woman was having a baby under a tree and there was nobody around,” he said.

"I had been brought up with babies, kind of working class background and helping with babies. I rushed across to her, she'd got her legs open…she knew me in Z Cars, I said 'breathe deeply' and gradually I got the baby out, the head …"

After admitting that he “got rid of the clots”, bit the afterbirth loose and licked the baby’s face, it was not surprising when host Libby Purves asked if the incident actually happened.

"It's absolutely true. I've just never talked about it. But what I'm saying is it was natural. You would tell her to breathe deeply and push, push, push, because I'd seen my mother do all this. I was always kept in the background, because all the neighbours were kind of midwives”, he said.

Admitting that it was an extraordinary story, the veteran actor concluded by saying the woman gave birth to a baby girl.

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