For the real man in your life

From rubber ducks to BBQs, this year’s Father’s Day bestsellers are both bizarre and brilliant, learns Annie Deakin.

Jonathan Ross says of Father’s Day; ‘I'm sure I will get a token bar of chocolate, some piece of s*** with Stig from Top Gear on it, and a card with a monkey's face on it saying 'number one daddy in the zoo’. All of which I will pretend to like before throwing away.’ Make sure your efforts are better appreciated with this Father's Day gift guide of bestsellers.

1. Table treasures - One for modish fathers: Add a little spice to your Dad's kitchen table with the very cool Egloo salt and pepper set (£18) by David Roberts. It features a bendy bus graphic and is handmade in Stoke-on-Trent. (

2. Bowl Dad over - Woe betide the family member who drops anything into Dad’s personalized Oak Stash Bowl (£68) from The Oak and Rope Company. This is for his keys only. (

3. Grill time - We’ll forgive Marco his grumpiness for his O Grill Portable BBQ (£119) from Far superior to others on the market, this solid BBQ is lightweight (11kg), can be folded up in minutes (with retractable legs) – and cooks a mean burger. (

4. End of the day reading - ‘Dads, as we know, are notoriously difficult to buy for.’ Gillian Anderson, Trading Director at Heal’s says, ‘There isn’t anything wrong with the usual stripy socks and worlds greatest Dad mugs but to make your gift extra special this year, think about you’re Dad’s personality and try and find a gift that really says something about him.’ For a dapper Dad, she suggests Tom Cutler’s humorous book A Gentleman’s Bedside Book (£12.99). (

5. Crockery to keep - A winner every time, Emma Bridgewater’s personalized crockery is a gift for keeps. Fathers can’t fail to be impressed by a mug painted with his child’s footprint or scribbling at The Pottery Cafes in Fulham or Richmond. Build up a collection over the years. (From £6.50,

6. Got a book in him? - Men aren’t usually as impressed by stationery as the ladies. Yet the Daddy Cool notebook (£35) from Smythson will do wonders for his style credentials. (

7. Apple infatuation - Strictly for very, very lucky fathers, an Apple iPad 2 will score more brownie points than you thought feasible. Failing that, there’s always the cheeky ‘iDad t-shirt’ in Primark. (From £399,

8. Lucky duck - Many a father will be ripping open cult-like rubber ducks with water activated multi-coloured LED’s this Sunday. ‘Our Reservoir Ducks are selling well in the run-up to Father’s Day,’ says Anderson. ‘They are very fun and something no bath should be without.’ Place them in the water and watch them light up. (£13,

9. Rain, rain - If you have to explain how gadgets work to him, this isn't for your Dad. Anderson, however, will be buying her ‘techno gadget Dad’ the Blue Line Metal Black Weather Station (£92) this year. ‘It’s a radio controlled clock and indoor / outdoor temperature and humidity monitor and forecaster,’ she says. (

10. Breakfast in bed - For the Dad that has everything, how about some manly biscuits shaped like bacon, eggs, bacon and beans. 'Father's day is becoming a bigger occasion every year in the Biscuiteers bakery with sales up 20% this year,’ says founder Harriet Hastings. Their bestseller? The Big Breakfast Tin. (£38.50,

Annie Deakin is interiors writer for sofa and interior design website

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<b>Kathryn Williams</b>
When I was supporting Ray La Montagne I was six months pregnant. He had been touring for a year and he was exhausted and full of the cold. I was feeling motherly, so I would leave presents for him and his band: Tunnock's Tea Cakes, cold remedies and proper tea. Ray seemed painfully shy. He hardly spoke, hardly looked at you in the face. I felt like a dick speaking to him, but said "hi" every day. </p>
He was being courted by the same record company who had signed me and subsequently let me go, and I wanted him to know that there were people around who didn't want anything from him. At the Shepherds Bush Empire in London, on the last night of the tour, Ray stopped in his set to thank me for doing the support. He said I was a really good songwriter and people should buy my stuff. I was taken aback and felt emotionally overwhelmed. Later that year, just before I had my boy Louis, I was l asleep in bed with Radio 4 on when Louis moved around in my belly and woke me up. Ray was doing a session on the World Service. </p>
I really believe that Louis recognised the music from the tour, and when I gave birth to him at home I played Ray's record as something that he would recognise to come into the world with. </p>
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