THERE was every reason to savour the birth of baby Jasper yesterday – not least because his next official birthday won’t be until 2016.

Arriving at the John Radcliffe Hospital at 1.12am, the little one had the pleasure of being among the first Leap Year babies in Oxford.

New mum Charlotte Lovell, 27, from Yarnton, said she initially took some persuading about the merits of giving birth on the extra day.

She said: “I wasn’t convinced at first. I was adamant I didn’t want him to be born on the 29th, but I came round to the idea and it does make it extra special.”

Dad Richard, a project manager for a renewable energy company, said: “For a boy it’s quite a special day and I think as a boy he’ll quite like that growing up.”

Jasper, whose middle name is Henry, came into the world weighing 7lb 3oz after a relatively brief labour.

His mum said: “It was very, very quick.

“I was induced at 4.55pm and he was here by 1.12am. It was a lot quicker than I expected.

“I’ve been watching One Born Every Minute (fly-on-the-wall Channel 4 documentary set in a maternity ward) and it was a lot quicker than some of the labours on there.

“He was due on February 15 so he kept us waiting.”

Asked when Jasper will get to celebrate future birthdays, she added: “Probably on the 28th, as it’s my cousin’s birthday that day as well, then we’ll have a special birthday every four years.”

The chances of being born on February 29 are one in 1,506.

Miss Lovell joked: “Everyone keeps saying this means they only have to buy birthday presents every four years.”

The John Radcliffe Hospital delivers about 7,000 babies a year and by the mid-morning rounds at 11am yesterday five more had made a Leap Year appearance.

Miss Lovell, who runs her own Travel Counsellors franchise and was working from home until Tuesday morning, said: “The staff have been fantastic. Everybody has been so sweet and lovely.”

Ward manager Sandra Snowdon said: “You want to be the midwife who delivers that Leap Year baby. It goes with Christmas and New Year.

“They’re all special in their own way but on a day like this there is an extra something.”

THERE were sighs of relief yesterday when a woman proposing to her partner on live radio received the answer she had been waiting for.

Ann Gameson, 53, took advantage of the Leap Year tradition to ask boyfriend Glenn Mullard, 49, to marry her. She arrived with a horse and carriage outside their workplace, Sanctuary Housing in Adderbury, accompanied by a full Heart FM radio crew.

Luckily Glenn, pictured above with her, didn’t hesitate and said “yes” straightaway.