He may be the poster boy for chivalry, superb acting and an all-round man-of-the-people. But Benedict Cumberbatch admits that he looks toward his friends as role models for fatherhood.

“I think there are plenty of good actors who are fathers. I mean, you only have to look at Daniel Day-Lewis as an example and a lot of my dear friends: Mark Strong, I mean, I could go on and on,” says 38-year-old Cumberbatch during a press conference at the Chinese Grand Prix.

“I think what children do is enhance your life, they don’t inhibit it. They don’t limit it, they give you inspiration and depths of understanding of the human condition and what it is to be on this planet and what our purpose is, that goes well beyond anything a childless actor could hope for.”

The Sherlock star went on to emphasize how excited he is to become a father, with his wife Sophie Hunter pregnant with their first child. “I’m so excited to meet my child and it’s a huge part of my life and it’ll be the most important part of my life, as it should be,” he says.

“I know, I can speak for many other friends of mine, Martin (Freeman) is another example who springs to mind, who managed to balance a home life and a work life. It’s not easy, but then everyone is doing it, everyone I know who has children is managing it, so it’s not impossible,”; he added.