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Sound advice: Wise old sayings that make Daddy Cool ahead of Father's Day

Ahead of Father’s Day on Sunday, June 21, we ask celebs what was the best advice their dads gave them. By Gabrielle Fagan, Jeananne Craig and Kelley Bolger.

Jameela Jamil (29) DJ and TV presenter

“My dad Ali (71) was a ‘fun’ dad who, when he took me to school, would wink at me before we left the house and say, ‘We’ll take the scenic route’. That was our code so my mum wouldn’t realise we were going via the doughnut shop for a sugary breakfast, which she definitely wouldn’t have allowed! He also nurtured my love of music early. When I couldn’t sleep as a toddler he’d get me out of my cot, sit me down next to him and feed me dollops of ice-cream while we watched TV repeats of Top Of The Pops late into the night. Sound and sugar were obviously a perfect combination for me.”

Best advice he gave me:

“‘Try not to be too responsible or reveal too many strengths because people will overburden you with things to take care of and look after’. At home, for instance, he made a point of looking hopeless at cooking even though he’s really good because he didn’t want to end up doing it all the time!”

Jameela Jamil is ambassador for Holland & Barrett’s new Free From offering. Visit to view a range of more than 1,000 gluten and dairy-free products

Sarah Beeny (43), TV property expert

“My dad, Richard, is an amazing role model. He’s always had time for me and I think that’s a real achievement, because not every child can say that about their parents. He’s a fun-loving person and we’ll often find ourselves talking and laughing together late into the night.

“Last month my dad got married and my brother, who was his best man, described Dad in his speech as having a big, strong heart. That’s so true. I admire him for it and it’s such an important quality in a father.”

Best advice he gave me:

“His sound advice on how to succeed in business and make money was, ‘Find something someone doesn’t want and sell it to someone who does want it’. He’s always given me the confidence to believe everything will turn out all right in the end because he says, ‘Whatever happens in life, any crisis, will eventually work itself out whether it’s a week, a month or a year down the line’.”

Property expert Sarah Beeny has joined with living solutions specialist Hafele UK and created a new Sarah Beeny Home collection, available through Amazon


Chris Packham (54), naturalist and TV presenter on BBC’s Springwatch

“Without my father Colin’s unfailing drive to get me to better myself, I would never have had the life I have. He was extraordinarily demanding, set almost impossible targets, but was always there to help me try and reach them — whether it was maths homework, driving me to see a bird, or fixing my car.

“One of my best memories is when I was eight and he took me camping in the New Forest and in the flickering, weak beam of his torch, he found me my first ever living bat. I nearly burst with excitement. That’s where I probably first got the nature bug and I’ve been going back there again and again ever since because of those happy memories with him.”

Best advice he gave me:

“Indirectly, he made it clear that winning isn’t everything, but it’s the only thing that counts, which was his mantra for success. And, as such, I’m one of the world’s worst losers and most obstinate tryer! I never give up, because he never allowed it.”

Chris Packham is an ambassador to UK campsite specialists, Camping In The Forest (

Robson Green (50), actor currently starring in Sky 1’s Strike Back

“I’m named after my dad and he was an amazing man. He worked in an industry that I perceived was not designed for human beings — mining. He spent most of his life down a black hole, a mile underneath the earth, bringing out coal to fuel the world. While he loved what he did, he was at his happiest dancing, he was a champion dancer, and also when he was growing his flowers. He loved nurturing life, no matter how small or insignificant because he said it was good for his soul, and I saw that kind of happiness and that’s what I aspired to enjoy. I achieve that by working in theatre and television and film.”

Best advice he gave me:

“’Always invest in people’ was what he drummed into me. Dad was a good socialist — and he taught me that if you do that, the emotional rewards will come back. So I’m a stickler for the NHS, education, public services and defence, which benefit people. He also told me, ‘Don’t do anything just for the money’.”

Anita Dobson (66), actor starring as Queen Elizabeth I in BBC Two’s drama series, Armada

“My father Alf, a dress-cutter, gave me a tremendous love of the written word. He loved to both write and read and I think he would have loved to have been an actor himself. Even though we didn’t have much money and lived in the East End, he made sure I read good books, everything from Shakespeare to Oscar Wilde.”

Best advice he gave me:

 “My mum was very afraid that I was going into such an insecure profession as acting but my dad said, ‘Just because you’re born in the East End, it doesn’t mean you have to spend the rest of your life there. There’s a whole world out there and if there’s something you want to do, get out there and do it because you have as much right as anyone else’. He also told me not to change my surname because he longed to see my name up in lights and he did before he died, which gives me great pleasure.”

Andrew Castle (51), retired tennis professional and TV and radio presenter

“I was 19 and had been away for two years on a tennis scholarship in America when I got the call that my father, Frank, had died. We were very close and at least once a week, he’d send handwritten airmail letters and cuttings from the sports pages about football as we were both mad keen on it.

“My lasting regret is that, as an adult, I didn’t get the chance to know him. I think about him every day and visit his grave for a chat occasionally. I recently discovered some pictures of him serving in the Second World War and it was very moving as I look very like him. He was such a presence and a security in my life, and my memory is of him sitting, smoking his pipe and watching wrestling or football, in between working in his fish and chip shop. Inevitably, he’d fall asleep with the pipe balanced between his lips and it would drop down and burn his cardigan! Even today, if I smell his brand of tobacco, it will instantly conjure that feeling of being with him.”

Best advice he gave me:

“’Never put an umbrella up in the house because it brings bad luck’ was his often repeated advice! He used to go mad if someone did and now if someone does that I freak out just like he used to. He inspired me rather than advising me because he made such tremendous sacrifices to allow me to follow my dream of playing tennis, which was incredibly hard for a working class family to afford.”

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