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Last Updated: Monday, 9 October 2006, 07:49 GMT 08:49 UK
Baby born during Five's live show
The feet of a newborn baby
Five hoped to show the first natural birth on live television in the UK
British viewers witnessed a boy born by Caesarean section live on TV - but the timing of Five's Birth Night Live meant no baby was delivered naturally on-air.

Baby Caleb was the only child to arrive during the two-hour broadcast from the Queen's Medical Centre in Nottingham.

Sunday night's show, which had hoped to capture a live natural birth, had been branded "risky" by the National Childbirth Trust.

But a Five spokeswoman said it had been "a huge success" with a "smooth" birth.

This is such a wonderful moment. Sorry, I'm quite emotional
Co-presenter Andrew Castle on Caleb's birth

Producers had been following several expectant mothers in the days leading up to the programme.

And one of them - a midwife from the same hospital - did give birth naturally a few minutes before it began.

A heavily-pregnant woman, who was minutes away from a natural birth when the show ended, also featured.

Presenter Penny Lancaster, who is the partner of singer Rod Stewart, was seen helping her through her contractions.

Andrew Castle, the co-host who covered the birth of 6lb (2.7kg) Caleb, was visibly moved as he was delivered.

Penny Lancaster
Penny Lancaster, who has a 10-month old son, was a guest host
"This is such a wonderful moment," he told viewers. "Sorry, I'm quite emotional."

Five had promised to withdraw filming if there was any indication of danger to a mother or child.

It followed a warning by the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists that there was no way to guarantee the "calm environment" deserved by a mother and child.

The show had also been described as "irresponsible, unnecessary and unduly risky" by the National Childbirth Trust.

The attempt to show the first live birth on UK television came five years after US network ABC showed five such deliveries on its programme Super Baby Tuesday.

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03 Oct 06 |  Entertainment
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02 Oct 06 |  Entertainment
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06 Feb 01 |  Entertainment


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