When he was a spring chicken of 40, Elton John already considered himself too old for parenthood, but that did not put him off becoming a father in his 60s.
Now, however, he knows what getting on a bit means and has admitted that his joy at being a hands-on parent will be short-lived because he started so late.
The 66-year-old singer suggested that by the time his two sons are teenagers, he will probably be so frail that he will need a stairlift.
At a ceremony to receive the first Brits Icon Award for his contribution to music, he was reminded how, in an interview aged 40, he said he was too old to be a father.
The TV presenter Dermot O’Leary asked Sir Elton: ‘You said, “I don’t want to be 70 years old with a teenage child” – what do you say now?’
The singer replied: ‘Well, I won’t be 70 years old with a teenager – I will be 80. By the time they are 15, I will be on a Stannah stairlift.
‘I wish I had made that decision to be a father 20 years earlier because I am no spring chicken.’
Sir Elton and his partner of 20 years, David Furnish, 50, are reported to have paid an unnamed surrogate £17,340 for the birth of their first son, Zachary, in 2010. It is claimed they paid a further £20,000 to the same woman for their other son, Elijah, in January this year.
‘I could understand when people were concerned about our age,’ Sir Elton said at the award ceremony on Monday night, ‘but to hell with it. We can show these children so much love, and in two-and-a-half years, they have brought me so much happiness.