Fatherhood is not all over now for Rod

AS HIS old song has it, every picture tells a story. And the picture we use today to illustrate the news that Rod Stewart is to be a father for the eighth time, at the age of 66, certainly tells a tale. There stands Rod with most of his offspring and third wife Penny Lancaster, with whom he has announced the joyous news of an impending new arrival.

Whilst there will be merriment, and a little envy, at the thought of Rod, currently 65, with his glamorous younger wife becoming a father as he qualifies for a pension - cue "yes, she thinks he's sexy" headlines - it will not be plain sailing for other fathers in his position.

Rod has a lot of advantages, not the least of which is his wealth which seems to have survived more or less intact despite two divorces. It's not as if he'll be without help in his Home Counties mansion, complete with football pitch.

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Joyous though parenthood is, caring for a new baby is exhausting for most couples who have their children earlier. Those late-night feeds and changes, which any self-respecting modern father will do, take their toll even on younger men sharing the load with their partners.

No doubt Rod will wear it well but most blokes that age are glad they know now what they didn't know then.