Jamie Oliver has explained why he and wife Jools decided to let their two eldest daughters, Poppy, 13 and Daisy 14, witness the birth of their brother River Rocket.

Speaking to Good Housekeeping magazine, the chef said the decision was, “only controversial to really strange people”.

A photo posted by Jamie Oliver (@jamieoliver) on

“It was an idea from Mum and the kids, and we gave it lots of thought," he told the magazine.

“It’s only controversial to really strange people! Most of the world has home births, and different countries have different habits.”

Oliver added that it was Poppy who had the honour of cutting the baby's umbilical cord. 

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“As soon as the baby was out and safe, we got the nod – Poppy cut the umbilical cord!” he said.

“To see my two teenagers watch their mum was extraordinary.

"It was the right age for them, the right scenario for us, and I witnessed their initial raw emotion as the little one was handed to them,” Oliver continued.

“I know they respect their mum now even more than they already did. It was an amazing show of strength.”

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River was born in August and is the Olivers' fifth child. In September the 41-year-old revealed that he and Jools had decided that five was enough children for their family.

When asked by Heat magazine if he would consider having a sixth, he said: "I really don't think so.

“Personally, I never thought I'd have more than two kids, but our family feels very complete now. I'm grateful that Jools is such a brilliant mum.”