Nottinghamshire councillor discovers he’s a grandfather during online meeting

Councilllor 2
Councilllor 2
18:06pm, Wed 11 Nov 2020
CBAD8A00-D2B9-4E0E-ADDF-D0366C357A34 Created with sketchtool. E9A4AA46-7DC3-48B8-9CE2-D75274FB8967 Created with sketchtool. 65CCAE04-4748-4D0F-8696-A91D8EB3E7DC Created with sketchtool.

A county councillor says he was “gobsmacked” to discover he had become a grandfather while chairing an online meeting.

John Cottee, 66, had his microphone muted at the time but was seen joyously celebrating when he received a text from his daughter Nicola during a Zoom call on Thursday November 5.

Appearing to lose his train of thought as the conversation led back to him, the councillor for Keyworth told the attending councillors: “I do apologise. I’m a bit excited, I’ve just become a grandad for the first time.”

Councilllor 1

Mr Cottee said he was “gobsmacked” by the news and felt he needed to explain himself out of respect as the meeting was about Remembrance Sunday.

Those on the call were visibly buoyed by the news and congratulated Mr Cottee.

“I just looked down at the text and saw it was my daughter. I think a bit of a beam came on my face,” Mr Cottee told the PA news agency.

“The officer opposite me just sort of said, ‘you all right?’ I said, ‘I bloody well am’.

“Obviously I knew I was going to be a granddad. But I didn’t realise it was actually going to happen during the meeting.”

He added: “It threw me out completely. I was gobsmacked!

“It’s one of the nice bits of life, isn’t it? You’ll always remember that.

“During this crisis, we had a very lovely moment.”

The councillor said he is hoping his family can all meet up together at Christmas.

He has ordered a train set for the newborn because he said he was “denied” having one when he was young.

Mr Cottee added: “I keep saying to my two daughters that I’m too young to be a grandad. I mean, I’m probably not.

“But both Lorraine, my wife, and I are absolutely delighted.”

Sign up to our newsletter