Hugh Grant is ready to have children.

The Hollywood bachelor - whose relationships with actress Elizabeth Hurley and socialite Jemima Khan broke down because he didn't want to settle down - now feels is qualified to be a dad after getting plenty of practice helping with his nephews, nieces and godchildren.

But the 49-year-old actor admits he would employ a team of nannies to help raise his offspring.

Hugh - who is currently single - said: "Ten years ago, I wouldn't have thought about having children at all. But now I have so many nephews and nieces and cousins and godchildren, I like the thought.

"But that's on the basis that I can leave after ten minutes. I don't know what it would be like 24 hours a day. I think I'd have a lot of nannies."

Asked if he still believes he will raise a family of his own, he added to Parade magazine: "Yes, yes, yes. I have not given up hope!

"I find I'm not as bad with children as I used to be."

The 'Music and Lyrics' star even has theories on how to raise the perfect child - by not smothering them with love.

He explained: "If you have a smothering parent, the effect it can apparently have on a child is to give them, in equal doses, a sense of too much self-esteem, because they are mummy's little princess or prince, and low self-esteem. It affects future relationships."