Brian Blessed: I delivered a baby in a park, bit the umbilical cord, and licked the infant's face
Brian Blessed stunned Radio 4 listeners by revealing he delivered a baby for a woman in a park - and licked the infant's face.
The 78 year old actor relayed graphic details about the birth and explained how he bit the umbilical cord to cut it, and then licked the baby's face before calling an ambulance.
Speaking to Libby Purves on the Midweek programme, he said, "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 nobody was around.
"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..."
He revealed the birth happened in Richmond Park.
He then continued, "So the afterbirth came out, and the clots, I pressed her belly and got rid of the clots, and the afterbirth came out. Then I bit it loose and tied it into a knot etc. And then I just called for help and eventually an ambulance came.
"I was covered in bloody, my shirt was covered in bloody, I was wrapping and wiping her saying, 'It's all right darling.' and I was licking the baby's face."
Purves interjected with, "Brian, am I believing this?"
He insisted it was "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."
Purves conceded it was an "extraordinary story".
Blessed, who is best known for his role as Prince Vultan in the 1980 movie Flash Gordon, added that it was a baby girl.