PEOPLE who have loads of children often do so, I suspect, for much the same reason that couples renew wedding vows. They like a celebration, and they want to be at the centre of it.

Surely three, at the most four, children is enough for one family. Any more, in an alarmingly over-populated world, is irresponsible and self indulgent. So I'm disappointed that Jamie Oliver claims he doesn’t have any say when it comes to his wife’s desire to breed. The father-of-five said in a TV magazine he’s “tried to put the brakes on” but it’s out of his control.

Now I like Jamie, I once interviewed him and he was delightful. He often talks sense, and I was totally Team Jamie when he worked so hard to revolutionise school meals and those awful mothers responded by pushing burgers through the playground fence. But, for a celebrity chef who gets a bit preachy on everything from childhood obesity and the sugar tax to breastfeeding, he doesn’t do himself any moral-high-ground favours having so many children. It ain’t good for the carbon footprint, Jamie.

The same could be said for self-righteous rock stars banging on about the perilous state of the planet and urging us to donate to telethons while they’re churning out more kids to add to the eight or so they already have.

Then there are women whose reason for existing is to give birth. “I just like having babies,” beamed a pregnant mum-of-six I once interviewed. She appeared to have left much of the childcare to her older children. The youngest, about a year old, was in a corner and she barely gave him a second glance. I remember thinking you couldn’t possibly give each child the attention they needed, and craved, with so many under one roof.

If families must add to their brood, there’s adoption. I'm full of admiration for people who go down that route. There are so many children who, for whatever reason, haven’t had a good start – I’m regularly contacted by a press officer seeking publicity for appeals for adoptive and foster parents – and giving these children a loving home would be the most selfless thing a parent could do.