Mick Shipman from Gavin and Stacey is the ultimate British 'dad' role model, a study has found.

The Essex father figure - played by actor Larry Lamb - is a favourite among dads because of his down-to-earth attitude, calm head, and good humour.

He came second in a poll to find the world's top 30 dad role models - beaten only by ‘Uncle’ Phil Banks, from US comedy The Fresh Prince of Bel Air.

The show, which ran for 20 episodes, from May 2007 to January 2010, is written by James Cordon and Ruth Jones.

In it, Mick is the dad of main character Gavin who (at the start of the series) lives with his father and mum Pam in the fictional Limetree Avenue, in Billericay.

However, the show's "Essex" home is actually in Dinas Powys, in Wales.

The poll of 1,000 dads which saw Mick as a favourite, revealed how 48 per cent believe screen role models are unrealistic and set an 'impossible' example to follow.

Read more >>> Oh! Gavin and Stacey have really put Billericay on the map

One in five think they have far too much time on their hands and 28 per cent reckon they have it easy as they have no financial constraints.

Other top small-screen dads include Tim ‘The Tool Man’ Taylor from US sitcom Home Improvement and even Bandit from kids’ show Bluey.

The survey was commissioned by insight experts OnePoll, whose head of research Mark Hodson said: “Most of what we see on TV has a bit of a sheen on it - and the roles of parents are no different.

“This research aimed to find the fathers on the silver screen who were most inspiring to the dads of the UK.

“But TV isn’t real life - as long as you and your family are happy - most of the time, then the fathers of this country are doing a good job.”

The study also found patience was the top thing dads have to master in order to be a good father figure, according to 47 per cent of respondents.

Another 46 per cent believe perfecting the ‘dad jokes’ and having a sense of humour is most important, and the same amount think it’s key to spend as much time with kids as possible.

More than a third believe a ‘good dad’ is someone who is dependable, and happy to spend time with kids, without the other parent being there.

However, one in five admit they aren’t sure whether they are a ‘good dad’ or not - with 63 per cent believing they are.

Nearly a third (32 per cent) took inspiration from their own father on how to do it themselves, while 18 per cent were inspired by their grandfather.

But 13 per cent look to celebrity dads for tips on how to do the best job possible, while 15 per cent turn to telly father figures.