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Top of the pops - Barlow scoops dad of year award

GARY Barlow really is top of the pops - after being named celebrity dad of the year.

The Take That star, who is also number one in the singles chart, collected the prize ahead of the birth of his fourth child.

He pipped reigning champion Peter Andre to the title, which is officially called the Premier Inn Celebrity Dad Of The Year 2012.

It comes just days after he organised the queen's spectacular diamond jubilee concert outside Buckingham Palace and his track Sing, written for the jubilee, is the current chart- topper in the UK.

It is the first time Barlow has won the accolade; earlier this year he posted a message on Twitter telling Andre to "stand aside". Barlow (41) was chosen in a public vote.

The X Factor panellist said winning the award felt "amazing". "I've been waiting for it for a long time," he said.

"My kids are really excited and I don't think they can quite believe it.

"Being a dad is a really important part of my life and it means a lot to have won this award."

Barlow already has children Daniel, Emily, Daisy, and his wife Dawn is expecting another girl. Also in the running for this year's award were rapper Jay-Z, footballer Cristiano Ronaldo and British prime minister David Cameron, who recently left his daughter at a country pub by mistake.

The award is supposed to reward the ability to balance public life with the demands of parenting.

Premier Inn spokeswoman Claire Haigh said of the winner: "It's great that his dedication to his family has been recognised. Congratulations to Gary."