New dad Jake Humphrey’s plans to move back to Norfolk

New president Jake Humphrey at the Royal Norfolk Showground. Photo: Steve Adams

It was just over a month ago when Jake Humphrey's life changed forever and he entered parenthood for the first time.

His daughter Florence was born at 1.31am on March 21 at Kingston Hospital in London – and although there was a brief moment of panic during her birth, she was born a healthy 6lb 11oz.

Already settling into his new role as a father, the former Framingham Earl High and Hewett School pupil is now making plans with his wife Harriet to return to Norfolk.

Jake, who was recently named as the president of the Royal Norfolk Agricultural Association (RNAA), said he was keen to give baby Florence, or Flo for short, the upbringing he had.

The 34-year-old, whose parents Rex and Liz still live in Stoke Holy Cross, just south of Norwich, said: 'We are keen for Florence to have a Norfolk upbringing and are looking for a home in Norfolk. We will move as soon as we've found somewhere – as soon as we've found a nice, country house.

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'It works for me as I'm going to be based at the Olympic Park and we are both really keen for Florence to have the life we had as children growing up in Norfolk – riding our bikes up and down country lanes and spending time outdoors.

'We don't want to be too far from mum and dad.'

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Jake, who initially launched his screen career with Anglia TV, is best known for his Formula One motor racing coverage but left the role last year to become anchor of BT Vision's Barclays Premier League football coverage.

As he makes plans to move back to Norfolk, together with Harriet, he brought young Florence to the county for the first time at the weekend where she was able to meet her newborn cousins Edward and Francis.

'It took a bit longer to get back,' said Jake. 'We had to stop for about an hour and a half on the A11 to feed her and to do other things you have to do when you've got a newborn baby. But she sleeps very well.'

He said during Florence's birth, her umbilical cord became wrapped around her neck, sending the sports presenter's heart racing.

'It was nothing majorly out of the ordinary and I spoke to the midwives and doctors afterwards and they said they were never worried. They did what they needed to do very quickly and the staff at the hospital were brilliant.'

He added: 'It's going brilliantly. In terms of the birth, I now think that for the woman it is terribly physically demanding but any young men should prepare themselves for how mentally demanding it is.

'Florence's birth was going smoothly until the end when they had to move very quickly. There were a couple of moments when you think about the stories you have read and seen and you think you didn't want that to happen. A minute or so afterwards, I was able to see her. We didn't have that romantic moment of cutting the umbilical cord but she was fine and she is fantastic.'

He said there was no particular reason why they chose the name Florence but just because they liked it and it means flowering or in bloom, in Latin. Had they had a boy, they would have named him Sebastian – but Jake said he was relieved Florence was a girl.

'Everyone would've thought we had named him after Sebastian Vettel,' he said. 'And considering she was born on the weekend when Vettel ignored team orders in Malaysia, it would not have been a good association.'

Meanwhile, despite his demanding work commitments, the Community Sports Foundation ambassador and Break patron is trying to be there for his wife and daughter as much as possible.

He said: 'I've always wanted to be a dad who is involved and although it's not great, being up at 3am when you've got to get up to go to work a few hours later, someone recently reminded me to make the most of those days of being with and speaking to your baby daughter in those early days as they soon go by.'

He added: 'Harriet is loving it. She's not at work and she's really enjoying being a full-time mum. It's hard when I'm working 12 to 13 hour days. Just being with the baby is quite a full on experience, but my sister, who gave birth to her third child just a month before Florence was born, and my sister-in-law, who has just had a baby too, have been a great help. Harriet and I are even stronger and closer than before Florence was born. We make a great team.'

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