Clarke Gayford describes first date with Jacinda Ardern in UK interview

  • 02/05/2018
Clarke Gayford describes first date with Jacinda Ardern in UK interview
Photo credit: AM Show

Clarke Gayford has opened up about his first date with Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and his preparation to become a stay-at-home dad.

He was interviewed by The Telegraph while he was in London with Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern for the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting.

Mr Gayford said the couple's news that they are expecting a child has been an icebreaker at social events and when meeting world leaders.

"I'd far rather ask for baby tips than discuss the weather. I've asked everyone from Obama to the royals. I can't reveal what they said, but it's all good common-sense stuff," he told The Telegraph.

Mr Gayford said before Ms Ardern became Prime Minister, he didn't own a suit and had to "rush out and buy one".

He praised the Prime Minister for enduring bouts of morning sickness while undertaking coalition negotiations and attending the APEC (Asia-Pacific) leadership summit, "surrounded by all these world leaders when she was feeling sick all the time".

"But she was so incredibly calm, I thought if she can get through this she can get through anything and luckily, after 16 weeks it went."

When Ms Ardern first informed him she was pregnant, he was in the remote north in a fisherman's hut and she told him to hide in the bathroom. The pair had been told they couldn't conceive a child without medical assistance, which they'd put on hold, and so "the surprise was huge".

Mr Gayford said when Ms Ardern first spoke to US President Donald Trump, it was on speakerphone at their Auckland home and he had to take away their cat because it was loudly meowing in the background.

"It was so funny," he said.

The couple went fishing for their first date, described by Mr Gayford as a "ridiculous day" because everything went so well.

"The sea was flat, a pod of dolphins showed up around the boat, then a whale and every time she put a line over she caught a 12lb snapper, a huge John Dory."

But they can't go fishing like that anymore, the last time they went out on a boat they had to be trailed by a team of security guards which he says "killed the buzz".

Mr Gayford says people have been "overwhelmingly supportive" about his plan to be a stay-at-home dad while Ms Ardern continues, after a short break, to run the country.  

But he doesn't really see it as a choice, it's just a given.

"When it comes to one of you going for a pretty unique opportunity and to achieve some incredible things that will stand the test of time, why wouldn't you support them? It would be selfish of me to do anything else."