There was a time, not so long ago, when the last thing a film star or footballer would have wanted to be associated with was hands-on fatherhood.
It was thought that if you were a celebrity man whose image relied on fantasy-fulfilment for the average working Joe, then you certainly didn’t want your carefully-managed brand of an image to be associated with the school run or changing nappies.
I mean, blokes who are dads spend two hours watching an action film or 90 minutes on the terraces to forget all that, right?
Well that’s certainly not how things are now. From paparazzi shots of David Beckham and his kids sitting next to each other in front-row catwalk seats, to Prince William dismounting from his Polo pony into the arms of his son George, glamorous dads are the talk of the town.
Here's what Brad Pitt has to say about being a dad: "[Fatherhood] is everything.... The hardest job in the world, the most rewarding job in the world.... We put in long days. And to go home and have dinner with your kids, and have to discipline one of them who's out of line, and still have the energy for that is.... I can't explain the fulfillment of that, but it is everything."
It seems the brand managers have caught up with the fact that actual dads embrace fatherhood and like to see that their heroes do too.
And a new survey by Best Offers Bingo has revealed who are our favourite celebrity dads of all. At the top of the list is David Beckham, in second place Prince William, followed by Will Smith and Brad Pitt – all fathers who proudly show how much they love their kids.
Interestingly, the survey which asked men in age cohorts ranging from 25 to 34, right up to 55 to 64, found David Beckham came out top, whether they were in their twenties or their sixties.
It turns out that for many men being a hands-on dad is now part of the fantasy. Along with having a Spice Girl as a wife, a lazer-like right foot and being as rich as Croesus, of course.