Belfast Telegraph

Cowell's airlift for father-to-be

Simon Cowell came to the rescue of a father-to-be by giving him a lift on his private jet when his girlfriend went into labour, it has emerged.

The Britain's Got Talent judge stepped in to make sure sound recordist John Hagenstede, 44, made it in time to see the birth of his first child.

John was working at the talent show's auditions in Edinburgh when his heavily-pregnant girlfriend, make-up artist Lisa Stewart, 30, called him at 10pm on Saturday saying she had gone into labour.

The couple, who met through work seven years ago, live in Caterham, Surrey, and with no flights or trains that night, John feared he would miss the birth.

But as auditions came to a close at 10.45pm, Cowell heard about his predicament and invited him to join him on the private jet that was flying him and fellow judges Alesha Dixon and David Walliams to Luton airport.

"Lisa wasn't due for another nine days, so I was shocked to get the call and desperately wanted to get back to Surrey to be with her," John said.

"Simon, David and Alesha were so brilliant. They knew how important it was to me and not only did they let me share their private jet, they also gave me drinks on the flight, relaxed me and were generally lovely and supportive."

Cowell also arranged for a car to be waiting for the father-to-be as the jet landed, which whisked him from Luton airport to East Surrey hospital where girlfriend Lisa was. He got there in the nick of the time, witnessing the birth of son Jude Berkeley Hagenstede, who weighed a healthy 7lbs 8oz.

"As I left Simon, David and Alesha wished me luck and offered their congratulations," he added.

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