14/08/2014 16:56 BST | Updated 22/05/2015 10:12 BST

The Reluctant House Dad 'Dad Of The Year Awards 2013'

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Father and Son Playing as Super Heroes

I know a thing or two about dads. I am one and I have one. And I have many friends who are dads, too. Which makes me (un)uniquely qualified to be the sole judge for this year's inaugural Reluctant House Dad Dad of the Year Awards, in which we (I) pay tribute to the best – and the worse – of what fatherhood had to offer in 2013.

And the winners are....


This has been quite a year for the breed known as Celebrity Dad (Latin name: Lookatmeus Imadadus ArentIcleverus).

Perhaps the most famous dad on the planet is David Beckham who puts multi-tasking mums to shame with his ability to juggle a football with what's hiding in his underpants with using his body as an Etch-A-Sketch with always looking perfect whenever he's (very frequently) out and about with Brooklyn, Romeo, Cruz and/or Harper.

But although he's right up there with the list of nominations, this year's field is a strong one, with contenders from both the worlds of celebrity and Royalty.

Yes, PRINCE WILLIAM stakes a strong claim for the title, with his matter-of-fact-down-to-earth-doncha-just-love-him-he's-just-like-one-of-us-really quips about fatherhood (picking up nappies for Prince George on the way home from polo, springs to mind – as if!).

But the winners are...(reaches for golden envelope)....ELTON JOHN AND DAVID FURNISH.

Many thought the large-spectacled hair-transplanted King of the Schmaltzy Ballad wouldn't last the distance with David Furnish, 50. But not only do they have a crocodile rock solid marriage, they are also brilliant dads to sons Zachary, two, and four-month-old Elijah, both of whom they had with a surrogate. All of which makes them ultra-modern trendsetting celeb dads of the year.

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WEST HOLLYWOOD, CA - FEBRUARY 24: (L-R) David Furnish, Zachary Furnish-John and Sir Elton John attend the 21st Annual Elton John AIDS Foundation Academy Awards Viewing Party at Pacific Design Center on February 24, 2013 in West Hollywood, California. (Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for EJAF)


There's no contest in this category. This dad takes the bastion of mother-and-daughter bonding to a whole new macho level – by using a vacuum cleaner to fix his daughter's ponytail. Now let's see her mum change a car tyre!


Speaking as an older dad myself, I can truly appreciate the strength, the stamina, the sheer bloody resilience of having young children to run you ragged and generally get on your Moobs. But Indian RAMJEET RAGAV puts all us Oldies to shame.

Ramjeet hit the headlines in 2010 when he was awarded the title of world's oldest dad after fathering Vikramjeet at the age of 94 with his wife Shakuntala, 60 . But he was news again in 2012 when he had his second child. Sadly, his wife left him last October after their first son went missing for a spell. But optimistic as only a man who can pull a woman 34 years younger than him can be, Ramjeet hopes she will soon return to him.


It can be a curse winning these awards. One minute you're basking in adulation, the next, your world comes crashing down as it all turns out to be a Great Big Fat Lie. Such a fate befell KEITH PREDDIE, once crowned Britain's Best Dad, but a dad who fell to earth after he ended up in court for attacking his wife after a row over Christmas presents. The dad of one, was said to be livid his wife Emma had given his mother a present without telling him after he had spent a day shopping for one.

But I'm afraid, Keith, there's a better contender in this category. And the winner is...(opens golden envelope)...MICHAEL CORKE.

Formerly ITV Daybreak's 'Super Dad' after saving his wife Lisa's life after her heart stopped, Michael was exposed as anything but heroic when he was sent to jail for four years for fleecing his own family of £13,000 of heirlooms. Still, we hope our latest award will give him some comfort with his porridge.


Perhaps these things seemed like a good idea at the time, but I've uploaded videos to YouTube and it takes AGES – more than long enough to realise that the hare-brained idea you came up with in the pub might not seem so funny to the winder masses once it goes viral. There are two contenders for this award.

First up, is GAVIN MCINNES, who uploaded a spoof video of himself showing how to fight a baby. The clip shows comedian Gavin using his own child to demonstrate fake fight moves - a combination of rough housing and cuddles. "This is a very little known technique for fighting babies – their Achilles heel is wind," Gavin says, as he blows in the child's face. It has already had over nearly 12 million views on YouTube, but many of the comments accused Gavin of cruelty.

But the winner is...(opens golden envelope)... EGG DAD.

This Dad Clown left egg on the face of his son – literally - when he bit into a raw egg disguised as a yummy chocolate Kinder Egg.

The boy's prankster dad filmed himself wrapping a raw egg in Kinder foil, before giving it to his young son who was very egg-cited to get a treat. After a few failed attempts to bite into the egg, the boy is told by his dad that the hard shell is a 'new type' of sweet, and is encouraged to tuck on in. He takes a big bite, and is left covered in raw yolk as the egg explodes all over his face and lap, leaving the boy in tears. Hil-ar-ious. Not. (Unfortunately, the dad was so shamed by the outrage caused by his prank that he removed the video from YouTube).


It is not just socially acceptable to be a daft dad – it's mandatory. But there is dafntess – dancing at weddings, tickle-fighting with your sons, singing like a lunatic to Linkin Park in the car in front of your kids' mates – and then there is stupidity.

Thus, TWO CARDIFF DADS didn't just take the biscuit, they had the cheese and crackers, too, after they were photographed pushing children's buggies across a dangerous river. Witnesses were left gobsmacked when they saw the gormless pair wading across notorious Blackweir on the river Taff in Cardiff. Compared to these two, brushes should be on University Challenge.


What should a dad do when he hits his thumb with a hammer? Or breaks his neck playing rugby? Or gets a knife in the neck fighting off burglars? Yes, dial 999 of course. But ONE DAD thought he had an emergency on his hands – when it started to rain. The time-wasting father was walking along a flyover with his four kids when a downpour started, and in a call to the emergency services he begged for a police car to take them home. And when his demands were rebuffed he threatened to complain to police watchdogs. Amazingly, passing officers then picked the man and his children up and drove them to a bus stop.


Even dads are human and sometimes, when faced with an appalling crisis, it's easy to freeze and wallow instead of taking on the fight and looking for a solution. The latter is what NICK SIREAU did. In an incredible act of love and determination, he quit his job to try to find a cure for a life-threatening disease that affects both his sons.

And three years on, Nick Sireau's grit has paid off – for he has discovered a treatment for the condition that affects just one in 500,000 people. Nick's sons, Julien, 12, and 10-year-old Daniel have father
children when he was left paralysed from the waist down after being shot in Afghanistan. But three years on, he has not only started to walk, but also discovered his bride-to-be is Ben's blog, are the result, showing Ben with his beautiful wife in one shot then re-created in the same pose with Olivia.


There is nothing like the bond between a father and daughter, so it probably says more about us that MICHAEL NICOLE's relationship with his girls, Charm and Brittani, left us shift a little uncomfortably in our seats. For Michael didn't just give his blessing when his daughters wanted Most Talked About Celebrity Babies of 2013