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Simon Cowell gives father-to-be lift home to make birth

Simon Cowell
Image caption Cowell gave John Hagenstede a lift back to Luton in his private jet

Simon Cowell came to the rescue of a father-to-be by giving him a lift home in his private jet so he could get to see the birth of his first child.

The Britain's Got Talent judge offered John Hagenstede, 44, a lift back from the Edinburgh auditions when he found out he had no way of getting back.

The show's sound recordist's girlfriend Lisa Stewart, 30, went into labour on Saturday night in Caterham, Surrey.

As there were no trains or planes back, he had feared he would miss the birth.

But as auditions came to an end at 22:45 GMT, Cowell heard about Mr Hagenstede's 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," 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 and supportive."

'Moments to spare'

Cowell also arranged for a car to be waiting for Mr Hagenstede at Luton airport, which then whisked him to East Surrey Hospital where girlfriend, a make-up artist on the show, was.

He got there in time to witness the birth of son Jude Berkeley Hagenstede, who weighed a healthy 7lbs 8oz (3.4kg).

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

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

"Without him there was no way I'd have been there for that precious moment."

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