Proud new dad and 'Strictly Come Dancing' star Ashley Taylor Dawson has shown off his baby boy for the first time and revealed his son's arrival was "perfect timing".

The 'Hollyoaks' actor became a dad for the second time earlier this month, just days after he began the live heats of the BBC1 dance show and there had been fears the birth could affect whether he could dance.

ashley taylor

And in an interview with Hello! magazine, which photographed him for the first time with young Mason Mac, he said: "I did have a word with Mason inside his mum's tummy and said, 'Come on, son, time this right for me', and I think he listened."

Dawson said he was just coping with the demands on his time as he juggles a new child, his day job on the Channel 4 soap and his dance commitments.

"I'm currently getting around five hours' sleep per night," he said.

"I've found it hard being away because I'm such a hands-on father and my children are my world. But it's not forever. I have a fantastic day job at Hollyoaks, I'm doing Strictly - which is like a surreal dream - and I've got two wonderful sons. No matter how tired I am, I can't complain.

"It's an exhausting schedule but Strictly was too good an opportunity to turn down, even though the timing could have been better."

He said he could not have done it without the help of fiancee Karen McKay with whom he also has a son, Buddy, two.

"I'm not at home very much at the moment but Karen is an incredible mother and, although it's tough on her, she's taking it all in her stride. She's my absolute hero and this has brought us closer than ever before.

"She's so supportive. This is a bigger challenge for her than it is for me because she's the one stuck at home on her own with the baby and an excitable two-year-old."

The couple said they were anxious that Mason - who has been given a "vote for my daddy" baby-gro by Zoe Ball - did not arrive before the first Strictly live show, or it could derail his appearance.

"I got home from rehearsals on Tuesday morning at 1am, sat down for five minutes to unwind and then Karen came down to say she was going into labour. It was perfect timing," he said.

:: The full interview is in the new edition of Hello! magazine, which is out now.

hello

LIKE US ON FACEBOOK | FOLLOW US ON TWITTER

Loading Slideshow...
  • Strictly Come Dancing line up 2013

    <strong>Abbey Clancy</strong> <strong>Age: </strong>27 <strong>Best know for:</strong> Modelling and being married to England footballer Peter Crouch. She also presents fashion segments on 'This Morning'. <strong>Odds:</strong> 5/1

  • Strictly Come Dancing line up 2013

    <strong>Rachel Riley</strong> <strong>Age:</strong> 27 <strong>Best known for:</strong> Taking over from Carol Vorderman as the letters and numbers whizz on 'Countdown'. <strong>Odds:</strong> 4/1

  • Strictly Come Dancing line up 2013

    <strong>Sophie Ellis-Bextor</strong> <strong>Age:</strong> 34 <strong>Best known for: </strong>Being a singer, with hits such as 'Murder On The Dance Floor' and 'If This Ain't Love'. She's also the daughter of former 'Blue Peter' presenter Janet Ellis. <strong>Odds:</strong> 6/1

  • Strictly Come Dancing line up 2013

    <strong>Vanessa Feltz</strong> <strong>Age:</strong> 51 <strong>Best known for:</strong> Her 90s chat show 'Vanessa'. She now presents her own radio show on BBC London and Radio 2, and famously had a meltdown on 'Celebrity Big Brother' in 2001. <strong>Odds:</strong> 50/1

  • Strictly Come Dancing line up 2013

    <strong>Deborah Meaden</strong> <strong>Age:</strong> 54 <strong>Best known for:</strong> Being a Dragon on BBC Two business show 'Dragons' Den'. <strong>Odds:</strong> 40/1

  • Strictly Come Dancing line up 2013

    <strong>Susanna Reid</strong> <strong>Age:</strong> 42 <strong>Best known for:</strong> Presenting 'BBC Breakfast' with Bill Turnbull. She also appeared on a 'Children In Need' special of the show with fellow newsreaders in 2012. <strong>Odds:</strong> 8/1

  • Strictly Come Dancing line up 2013

    <strong>Natalie Gumede</strong> <strong>Age:</strong> 29 <strong>Best known for:</strong> Playing husband beater Kirsty Soames on 'Coronation Street'. <strong>Odds:</strong> 6/1

  • Strictly Come Dancing line up 2013

    <strong>Fiona Fullerton</strong> <strong>Age:</strong> 56 <strong>Best known for:</strong> Her roles as Bond girl Pola Ivanova in 1985's 'A View to a Kill' and as Alice in 1972 film 'Alice's Adventures in Wonderland'. <strong>Odds:</strong> 20/1

  • Strictly Come Dancing line up 2013

    <strong>Ashley Taylor Dawson</strong> <strong>Age:</strong> 31 <strong>Best known for:</strong> His role as Darren Osborne in Channel 4 soap 'Hollyoaks'. He also used to be in pop band allSTARS*. <strong>Odds:</strong> 10/1

  • Strictly Come Dancing line up 2013

    <strong>Ben Cohen</strong> <strong>Age:</strong> 34 <strong>Best known for:</strong> Being a rugby union player, and being a gay icon after establishing The Ben Cohen StandUp Foundation to combat homophobia and bullying. <strong>Odds:</strong> 6/1

  • Strictly Come Dancing line up 2013

    <strong>Patrick Robinson</strong> <strong>Age: </strong>49 <strong>Best known for:</strong> Playing Martin "Ash" Ashford on 'Casualty'. <strong>Odds:</strong> 20/1

  • Strictly Come Dancing line up 2013

    <strong>Julien Macdonald</strong> <strong>Age:</strong> 42 <strong>Best known for: </strong>Being a fashion designer, as well as having a famous spat with Cheryl Cole in 2011. <strong>Odds:</strong> 16/1

  • Strictly Come Dancing line up 2013

    <strong>Mark Benton</strong> <strong>Age:</strong> 47 <strong>Best known for:</strong> Starring in 'Waterloo Road' as maths teacher Daniel 'Chalky' Chalk. <strong>Odds:</strong> 40/1

  • Strictly Come Dancing line up 2013

    <strong>Dave Myers</strong> <strong>Age: </strong>56 <strong>Best known for:</strong> Being one half of TV chef duo The Hairy Bikers. <strong>Odds:</strong> 50/1

  • Strictly Come Dancing line up 2013

    <strong>Tony Jacklin</strong> <strong>Age: </strong>69 <strong>Best known for: </strong>Being an English pro golfer. <strong>Odds:</strong> 50/1

  • Strictly Come Dancing line up 2013

Also on HuffPost: