UK — Actor Brian Blessed has claimed he delivered a baby girl in Richmond Park — before chewing through the umbilical cord and licking the newborn’s face.
The well-known star said the bizarre incident took place in the south-west London park in 1963 while he was in the TV police drama Z-Cars.
Blessed, who at the time was in his late 20s, claimed he was running when he spotted a woman in labour beneath a tree.
“I rushed across to her and she was having the baby and had her legs open,” he told the BBC Radio 4 show Midweek this morning during a discussion about a man’s role in childbirth.
“She knew me in Z-Cars [and] she said ‘please Mr Blessed, I’m having a baby, I’m having a baby’.
“I said ‘breathe deeply’ and gradually I got the baby out so the head… Then I got the afterbirth out, then I bit it loose then I tied it into a knot, and then I just called for help and eventually an ambulance came. I was covered in blood, my shirt was covered in blood, I was wrapping her, wiping her, [saying] ‘it’s alright darling’. And I was licking the baby’s face.”
I’m not sure if most people are familiar with Brian Blessed’s work. I recognize him as one of those actors where you can say that if there’s a British person in a show or a movie, he’s the one. And it seems like he’s always playing the guy who’s strong, brave, wise and noble. Which, judging by this story, means he has to be the greatest actor in the world to pull it off because he is clearly and completely out of his damn mind.
I don’t mean to come off indifferent to the sufferings of women going into labor in public parks, but the last thing you’re going to find me doing is chewing through an umbilical cord. The second to last thing is licking the baby’s face. And the third to last is anything else he did here that doesn’t involve running as far away from the scene as fast as I can. I promise you I’d run for help. But once I found a pay phone (it was 50 years ago, after all) or pointed the nearest cop I could find in the direction of this mother to be, my work here is done.
Believe me, I’ve been in the delivery room twice. And even though I literally had skin in the game both times, it was the last place I belonged. Being there when a woman is having a baby is like being in the garage while the mechanics are talking about what’s wrong with your car. They’re experienced, they’re talking all sorts of jargon they know you can’t comprehend, and you’re basically just in their way, worthless and emasculated. Birthing a baby is a job for experts, not for bloggers/sports talk hosts and for sure not something crazy actors with a taste for human flesh should ever get involved in.
P.S. How does a story like this take 50 years to come out, anyway? If some woman had a baby delivered in Central Park by say, Donnie Wahlberg, and he chewed through the umbilical and licked all the schmutz off the newborn’s face, I think we’d hear about it before 2065. I love England, but that is one weird country.
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