herald

Monday 11 December 2017

Cowell gives stranded dad-to-be a lift on private jet to get to birth

MUSIC mogul 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.

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.

Mr Hagenstede 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 live in, Surrey, UK, and with no flights or trains that night, Mr Hagenstede 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 London.

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

"We looked up every possible option of getting me home and I was devastated when I realised the only option was waiting and getting a flight in the morning. I knew I would miss the birth of my first child.

"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."

Cowell also arranged for a car to be waiting for the dad-to-be as the jet landed, which whisked him from Luton airport to East Surrey hospital.

He got there in the nick of the time, witnessing the birth of son Jude Berkeley Hagenstede, who weighed a healthy 7lbs 8oz.

"I got there with just moments to spare. If I'd been 10 minutes later I'd have missed the birth. I'm so grateful to Simon."

hnews@herald.ie

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