Great Staughton couple let radio listeners name their baby

EXPECTANT parents have a lot to think about and one of the hardest decisions is what to call the new addition to their family.

EXPECTANT parents have a lot to think about and one of the hardest decisions is what to call the new addition to their family.

For one Great Staughton couple, the challenge of coming up with a name for their third child proved too difficult – and they turned to the listeners of a local radio show to do it for them.

Emily and Steve Hay, of Manor Close, were thrilled when their third daughter, a little sister for Chloe, seven, and Shannon, four, arrived safely on August 3, weighing a healthy 8lb 13.5oz. However, until Friday she was known simply as “Baby Hay” – the name written on her wristband by the midwife who delivered her – while her parents struggled with selecting the perfect name.

Emily, 34, said: “We just got so stuck. We were in such a muddle.”

The desperate couple made the unusual decision to ask total strangers to name their baby after receiving help from the Andie Harper Show on BBC Radio Cambridgeshire on another matter.

Emily explained: “My dad, bless him, is nearly 80 and heard me on the phone to BT a week before the baby was born, getting in a right pickle. BT said we owed them �170 for broadband and had referred us to a debt collection agency – but we didn’t have broadband. Dad told me to phone the BBC and within 24 hours the problem was resolved and BT had credited our account.

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“I phoned the BBC to say we had had the baby but were so stuck with finding a name. Johnny, who works for the Andie Harper Show, said why don’t we put it on the radio? I spoke to Steve about it and he agreed.

“We were in such a mess; my eldest daughter wanted to send out postcards saying she had new baby sister but wanted a name and the doctor’s surgery said they couldn’t register her without a name…”

Listeners phoned it with suggestions, before a shortlist of three, Casey, Freya and Phoebe, was decided on by the show’s production team.

Emily said: “It was really good fun. One of the names suggested was Cristobel, which I had never heard of before but my mum quite liked! Another man phoned in and said because Steve had just opened a motorbike shop, we should call her Harley. I said ‘I don’t think so!’ but it was funny.”

Once the shortlist was announced, the listeners voted on which one they thought was best, picking the name Freya. However, the family have now decided to go with second most popular choice because of a family connection to the name Freya, revealed by Steve’s mum, Jean.

“It was a bit crazy,” said Emily “but Steve and I were quite happy.

“Steve was listening at work and my dad was listening at home – everyone was laughing. It all happened so quickly I didn’t really have time to think about it. Steve was getting phone calls at work with people suggesting ideas.

“He phoned me every time I got off air and was just laughing about it; it was such a funny day.”