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BBC’s Noel Thompson: my life was saved by a bicycle helmet

BBC presenter Noel Thompson said his life was saved by wearing a helmet when he went over the handlebars of his bicycle — and he has urged all cyclists to take the same precaution.

The newsman broke his collarbone on the Comber Greenway in east Belfast while out for a jaunt on his bike on Sunday afternoon.

He told the Belfast Telegraph: “My front wheel locked — I don’t know why — and I was thrown over the handlebars.

“I landed hard on my shoulder and head. The impact was huge.

“I think if I hadn’t been wearing my helmet I would have been killed,” the Newsline presenter added.

Passers-by on the greenway came to Mr Thompson’s aid and called an ambulance. He was taken to the Ulster Hospital for treatment and checks.

The father of two, who has been cycling for around 15 years, has been told to wear a sling and that he can expect the fracture to heal in around 10 weeks.

But Mr Thompson, who lives in east Belfast and regularly cycles on the greenway, had a warning for other cyclists.

“I see people out on the roads without helmets and I just think they’re crazy. I think my helmet saved my life,” he said.

The 53-year-old previously fell off his bike in London when the wheels slipped on wet leaves.

The keen cyclist, who was in the capital working on BBC breakfast television at that time, was not wearing a helmet because the hire shop where he got his bicycle did not have any available.

He has vowed ever since never to cycle without protective headgear.

The popular presenter used to cycle along the Comber Greenway two to three times a week.

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