Michael Fish, the iconic weather forecaster who famously failed to forecast there would be a hurricane ahead of the 1987 storm that battered Britain, has joked people may be thinking it "serves him right" after a tree fell down in his garden today.

Mr Fish admitted even his wife blamed him for the damage.

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As St Jude's storm howls across Britain today, disrupting travel for millions and leaving more than 220,000 homes without power, it seems that even famous weatherman was not spared from the devastation.

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Fish spectacularly dismissed the devastating gales 26 years ago as nothing to worry about

But he also hailed the accuracy of new computer models which he said had allowed the Met Office to predict the latest weather front and prevent "horrendous loss of life".

"I had a phone call from my wife not so long ago and of course it was my fault that a tree has apparently gone down in my garden and over the neighbour's garage," he told BBC Radio 4's Today programme.

"So even I don't escape and I can hear some of you saying 'serves him right!'."

Asked if the scale of the storm had been overplayed this time, he said: "No, no. It's been a terrific storm.

"There has been massive damage and if we hadn't been banging the drum for about a week or so there could have been some horrendous loss of life as well.

"I am hoping and praying that we have virtually avoided all that."

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People watch the waves batter into the sea wall of a marina in Brighton, south England

Shortly before the storm hit in 1987, Fish told viewers: "Earlier on today apparently a lady rang the BBC and said she heard that there was a hurricane on the way.

"Well, don't worry if you're watching, there isn't."