Jayne Dawson: Mick, it’s okay, you can stop fathering children now

Mick Jagger.
Mick Jagger.
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Well now, how to say it without being really very personal?

You’re right, there is no way, so let’s just get down and dirty ...in a manner of speaking.

Mick Jagger. A father again at 73.

Yuk. Just yuk.

It made the news, but not in a massive way. Ageing rocker and Rolling Stone frontman Mick Jagger had become a dad for the eighth time, they said. Not much more than that.

That’s because it is unusual - after all Mick is also a great grandfather - but not that very uncommon.

There are other old celebrity dads. Singer, entertainer and butt of many Morecambe and Wise jokes Des O’Connor fathered a child aged 72; American actor Steve Martin became a dad for the first time aged 67.

So it’s far from unknown.

The difference between those men and Mick Jagger is that they actually seemed to want a child. They were in serious relationships.

The wild old man of pop gives every impression of being much more casual about his late fatherhood.

I could be wrong. Mick could be doting. He might see his brood of children as the most important aspect of his life. He might be an expert nappy changer; a cheerful middle-of-the-night soother of crying babies; an expert clearer and cleaner of toys of an evening.

But I don’t think so. Mick seems like the worst type of elderly father - the type who wants the world to know he still can. A vanity dad.

His children are scattered far and wide. They have five different mothers, they range in age from mid-40s to zero.

Ballerina Melanie Hamrick is the mother of this eighth child. She lives in America and is no longer in a relationship with Mick, but he has bought her and her son a fancy house, and reportedly promised a huge monthly allowance.

So no money problems for mother or child - just the opposite.

A cynical person might wonder if the post-birth settlement was a part of Mick’s attraction, the reason young and beautiful women are quite so fertile around him. But it takes two to tango, and Mick clearly likes the world to know he still tangos.

One thing is certain: If Mick was a woman he would have been called nasty names for fathering children by this number of partners.

Presenter Ulrika Jonsson was not congratulated by everyone on the birth of her fourth child.

She was in fact cruelly labelled a 4x4 for having her four children by four different men.

This has not happened to Mick Jagger. The world is changing, but the rules for mothers and fathers are still different.

So let’s imagine if a woman had given birth aged 73. It could happen soon because this year a 70-year-old Indian woman, married for 46 years, gave birth to her first child after IVF treatment.

But let’s imagine this woman was a celebrity, another massively wealthy, long- time icon of the music world. And let’s call her Madonna. An alternative Madonna in a fantasy world.

The real Madonna is not yet 60 but she has all the money it could possibly take. If she wanted to have another child, I’m certain she could.

But I’m equally certain she would not be given the Mick Jagger treatment. There would be no congratulatory slap on the back, and no saucy wink.

She would be judged harshly: she would be called selfish, unnatural and vain. Her motives would be questioned, her character shredded, her judgment derided.

None of this has happened to the Rolling Stone, whose eighth child, just like his seventh child, will be raised on a different continent.

The thing is, we already acknowledge Jagger’s rock star status, he doesn’t need to carry on fathering children to prove he is the real, potent deal.

Which is why the fact that he still does is yuk. Just yuk.

DIGITAL CARDS ARE THE BEST

You might have worked it out by now but just to make it super clear - I love a Christmas tradition.

Cake, carols, crackers; turkey, tree, tinsel; Check, check and check.

But I don’t love Christmas cards. For reasons I can’t exactly explain, I find the sending of cards a dispiriting business.

I think it’s to do with my address book: it’s old, it’s out of date, I stopped adding addresses about twenty years ago, and increasingly it has the details of people who are dead.

I don’t like to go anywhere near it. So I don’t.

I’m not alone. The business of sending cards by way of festive greeting is slowly dying a death.

This year, according to research, more than half of us will use a messaging app to send at least some of our seasonal greetings the easy, casual, digital way.

We will send one airy message wishing a merry time to each and every one of our Facebook friends. Job done.

A quarter of us will send no cards at all, and almost all of us will send fewer cards than we used to.

And if you are thinking this is all about the youngsters, it isn’t. A third of over-65s will be joining in the digital greetings too.

I don’t see this as a bad thing. No one said Christmas had to be full of effort and long nights at the table with cards, pen and gritted teeth.

If the Victorians had had the internet they would have been elfing themselves too.

YOUR NEWEST ENEMY IS CARBS

If I was a carbohydrate right now, I’d be a bit worried.

Well, I probably am part carbohydrate, what do I know? But you know what I mean.

The fact is that the rules of eating are changing. It’s not just the usual tweaking, the announcement of the latest superfood, but a proper seismic shake-down.

Now fat is good, fat is yummy, fat is the elixir of life. The right sort of fat anyway.

By contrast sugar is a cruel, heartless and dangerously addictive substance.

Carbohydrates have mostly managed to keep out of the firing line.

But now, people are turning on them viciously. Refined carbohydrates turn to sugar. We knew that already. Complex ones have still been getting some respect.

But now an American study is saying men don’t need many of those either because good health is all about meat and dairy. Carbs, run for your lives.

The presenters of children's television programme 'Blue Peter' in 1972 (from left) Peter Purves, Lesley Judd, Valerie Singleton and John Noakes with his dog 'Shep'. PA Wire

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