Hi Tim. How's life for you right now?
Life is good; very busy, but good. I am just about to celebrate my twin boys Jasper and Felix's second birthday. They are now getting very heavy, but still want to be held at the same time. Once they have both been picked up, they then insist on wanting to be put down again immediately. This routine can be repeated up to four or five times per hour. It's like a high intensity workout. But, like I say, life is good but busy.
The Likely Dads is coming to Radio 4. Can you tell us more about the format?
At its core, it's a chat between a group of dads... but some of our dads happen to be some of the funniest people in the country.
It was born out of a need for dads to get together and chew the fat on what the paternal experience is actually like. Our two regulars, Mick Ferry and Russell Kane, bring very different parenting perspectives to the table and we've also got a wide range of guests, from really well known actors to members of the public, so if someone's experience doesn't speak to you someone else's will.
We describe The Likely Dads as a safe place where dads can get their inner thoughts off their chest and have a big laugh in the process.
It's been a scream. During our sessions they've left me and the crew in stitches. Mick is a groomed bear of a man that has a huge heart, absolutely adores his kids and has a Northern common sense approach to parenting.
Russell has read most of the books dedicated to child rearing and was admittedly analytical during his earlier days as a dad; he kept a diary of his child's progress, which included times of bowel movements and lengths of naps. When Mick heard this he was stunned.
The guests we've had have been great and really got the ethos of the series. Some were, probably rightly, worried about even attempting to be funny with Mick and Russell in the room (who wouldn't be?) but there's no egos in the room, we're all dads having a laugh at the end of the day.
Do your two boys have similar personalities?
When they are older one could be an engineer or cat burglar and the other could be an actor or entertainer, but I will leave those who meet them to work out which is which.
Everyone seems to say you change when you become a father. What do you think the biggest adjustment is?
You change in every way, usually imperceptibly. At least now I have two very good reasons to pin my worries on. They are a constant delight daily and I am never ever wishing I was anywhere else but in their company. However, I can't tell you how glad I am that they have moved on from the whining accident prone Bing to the highly entertaining Peppa Pig, which has parent jokes included!
To any would-be parents or those expecting reading this who don't know who either Bing or Peppa Pig are, you will soon enough!
What's the best tip or anecdote you've heard so far, from the episodes you've recorded?
The best tip probably came from Russell but a little too late for me to take on board as my boys are nearly two. He says that new dads are like a "shit assistant manager" in the first six months; it's not about you but your job is to be there to help as and when it's needed. Lots of dads now want to be active and they want to be involved, so just being on standby in the background can be really disheartening.
Mick's kids are all adults now, and one of his best anecdotes early in the series is about how excited he was about his daughter getting into uni and the prospect of her leaving to live in halls only for her to choose a university close to home so she didn't have to move out.