November 07, 2018 08:00 AM
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He might be PEOPLE’s newly crowned Sexiest Man Alive, but the only title British heartthrob Idris Elba truly cares about is that of dad to his two kids.

The actor says his happiest moments were when his daughter Isan, 16, and son Winston, 4, (both from past relationships) were born. “Just watching that whole process come to life,” Elba says in this week’s issue of PEOPLE. “Being witness to the birth of my children, happy and healthy, is the biggest, biggest, most best thing ever.”

RELATED: Inside Idris Elba’s Proposal to Sabrina Dhowre: ‘It Was the Most Nerve-Wracking Thing Ever’

For more from PEOPLE’s Sexiest Man Alive — and to see who else made the cut — pick up this week’s issue of PEOPLE on newsstands Friday

So has he ever been an embarrassing dad? “Plenty of times,” Elba says, laughing. “But I tend to be conscious of my daughter’s space. I’m super doting as a dad. Big hugs, kisses, lots of love-yous and all of that. I’m sure my daughter’s like, ‘All right dad, chill out.’ My son, he gets it. But he’s still at that age where he loves a cuddle.”

David Burton

Elba, 46, insists he can see himself in both of his kids — from physical traits to their personalities. “My children are extremely shy and I’m quite shy in reality,” he says. “Both my children overthink everything. Sabrina and I have a joke, ‘What’s the backstory?’ Because I’m always asking. ‘There’s no backstory. The pizza’s late.’ ‘But why? What’s he doing?’ And my children share that trait. We just over-analyze.”

Watch the full episode of PEOPLE Cover Story: Sexiest Man Alive 2018, streaming now on PeopleTV.com, or download the PeopleTV app on your favorite device.

Elba’s favorite time of day is “around 8 o’clock in the evening” when he can catch up with his family, including fiancee Sabrina Dhowre. “Not quite bedtime, just had dinner,” he adds. “I usually go to bed at 1 o’clock, so I’ll watch movies, make music, catch up with them. It’s a nice quiet time.”

For even more on PEOPLE’s Sexiest Man Alive, click here and be sure to pick up the issue, on stands Friday. And nab your own official Sexiest Man Alive shirt from our brand new Amazon store!

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