A council employee tasked with driving around beauty spots in the Vale of Glamorgan dispensing lockdown advice saved a man's life by "freak chance".

Karl MacIver, who works for the Vale of Glamorgan Council, said his decision to check Nash Point on Wednesday afternoon was a "last-minute idea".

There was a car in the car park, but the man inside was visibly distressed and Mr MacIver could see he was contemplating taking his own life.

Mr MacIver immediately jumped into action and discreetly dialled 999, while trying to talk the man down.

"I was driving to Sully to close the road there to stop people driving down and I thought I would just check Nash Point on my way," Mr MacIver said.

"It was only by freak chance really. I noticed him there.

"A close friend of mine took his own life just two days before Christmas. If I had been able to, I would have tried to talk him out of it. I couldn't help him back then, but I could try and help this guy now."

Karl MacIver, pictured with his daughter, has gained a following for playing 'Always Look on the Bright Side of Life' through the loudspeakers on his works van

Thanks to Mr MacIver's quick thinking, the emergency services turned up just in time. The driver was taken to hospital by officers from South Wales Police. A spokesman for the force said: "Shortly before midday on Wednesday April 1 officers responded to a call of a man in distress at Nash Point in the Vale of Glamorgan. Officers attended and were able to take a 39 year-old man from Bridgend to hospital."

But the incident was far from over for Mr MacIver, a father of two. It wasn't until the next day as he continued with his work that he realised how much the exchange had affected him.

As well as checking popular car parks, Mr MacIver played a message over loudspeakers on top of his council-owned vehicle. The self-confessed "positive" man had gained a following in the Vale for interchanging the lockdown messages with blasts from "Always Look on the Bright Side of Life".

"I try to be cheerful," the 39-year-old man said. "You've got to be, especially at the moment. It's quite hard for people. The voice on the speaker is quite depressing and can frighten the children.

"There's a lot of boredom out there and morale is very low."

But on Thursday, Mr MacIver decided to take the rest of the week off to allow his mind to process the events from the day before. The council had suggested he do this while also raising concerns about his playing of music over the loudspeaker.

Meanwhile, the local community rallied around Mr MacIver, worried he had lost his job because of his light-hearted music-playing.

On Monday, fully expecting "some sort of disciplinary action", Mr MacIver was called into a meeting with his employers. Instead, he was told that while his music-playing was "not really appropriate", he would not be facing any disciplinary action. The council also offered him the opportunity to take some leave "on compassionate grounds", which Mr MacIver took up.

A Vale of Glamorgan council spokesperson said: "We cannot discuss matters of conduct involving any of our employees but we can confirm that Karl remains a valued employee of this council and in his current role."

The messages of support from the community had made him feel "so much better", Mr MacIver added.