OUR daughter’s middle name is Fairlie. She was named after a close friend who has that forename and we think it’s beautiful if unusual.

But why on earth would you give your child a number for a name? Like Seven? Like the Beckhams have?

You wonder what motivates so many celebrities to saddle their offspring with names like Pixie, Dweezil, Q or Petal Blossom Rainbow.

I may have been a simple schoolboy striding purposelessly towards obscurity but, years ago, when I sat anxiously in classrooms, I was grateful to be called Ed (and Perkins) knowing that my name was unlikely to be the first to come into the teacher’s head when looking to check on how thoroughly we’d done our homework.

In those days, the boy with the most obscure name in my class was Albert who, consequently caught a lot of the teachers’ grillings.

And I look back with relief at the fact that my parents did not baptise me with a nutty name like Bogbrush, Beetroot or Millipede. Or, perish the thought, Nuts. That said, I have a grudging admiration for the imaginations of celebrity parents who pluck out names like Apple, Daisy Boo and Sailor for their unsuspecting offspring.

As an admirer of Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mock- ingbird, I have no issue with the Beckhams giving their new baby the slightly bizarre name of Harper. But to burden her with Seven as her middle name is surely ridiculous.

In years to come, will they call her in from the garden when it’s her bedtime by shouting: “Come in Number Seven… your time is up”?

If they do, by the time she’s a teenager, their own names will be Mud.