“A papier mache tea caddy? Or perhaps an antique fruit bowl? ” Paul Martin begins by pondering his favourite antique gift ideas. “I particularly like fruit bowls as they are simple and can survive hundreds of years because they are useful and can be filled with whatever you like. Fill them with love!”

Paul is hoping to add more unique items to his list when Flog It! visits St Albans Cathedral this Thursday to film an episode of the new series.

“I can’t wait to come back to St Albans, as I’m in love with the area - especially the cathedral.” He recalls. “I’m planning to have a private visit there to muse over the history and also visit a few Tring Auctions to see if I can uncover any new treasures.”

After the success of previously filming at the cathedral in 2008, he encourages people to bring along their old and dusty possessions to be valued and turned into huge piles of cash, so that this new series of Flog It! will be the best one yet.

“I feel very privileged to be part of the 15th series of Flog it!” Paul adds. “The best thing about the show is travelling around the country and hearing different stories from people.

“Over the years we have been able to visit bigger and more historic venues, which makes every day different. We can get more than a thousand people turning up when filming, so it is important to make it an enjoyable day out for everybody.”

Calling in at such prestigious establishments means there are plenty of opportunities to find unexpected and rare items.

“The most unique thing I have ever found is the skull of a rhinoceros," Paul recalls. "It had been shot somewhere either in India or Africa during the 1900s after being born in captivity. It is very valuable as it has so much history and life within it.

“The best gifts are full of life and character, even if they are damaged and haven’t been restored. Don’t buy a polished museum piece!”

The 56 year old’s fondness for traditional and vintage possessions began at an early age. “I wanted to make things for a living and went to art school to learn how to paint. I did lots of furniture restoration and furniture designs so I’ve had a natural progression into the world of antiques.”

Even when not filming, Paul frequently visits local auction houses in Wiltshire, where he lives with his wife and two children.

“My children are developing an interest in auctions already," says Paul. "My son loves antiques furniture and he is only six!

“I want a lot of my antique purchases to stay in the family - particularly my natural history items that include a range of skeletons, minerals and fossils, as well as my Queen Anne cupboard.”

Paul reveals that there is no secret to finding an item full of history and individuality, just an initial feeling.

“When I browse around antique shops or auctions, I look for something individual that catches my eye and touches my soul. Something I want to caress and hold forever.”

He is also full of advice for people starting out in the antique world.

“Be passionate and enthusiastic. Go to antique shops first and talk to the dealers to learn what to say to buyers and know how much something should cost.

“An item doesn’t have to cost thousands of pounds to still be beautiful and valuable.

"Antiques play an important role in our social history. They are all about human stories, rather than the cost and that is why they make such great gifts.”

Paul firmly believes that although finding the perfect gift may take a fair amount of rummaging about, it is worth it in the end.

“There will always be an item that slips through your fingers. You’ll be disappointed for an hour but then you’ll see something else you want to buy and your thoughts will go into that instead. It’s a rollercoaster ride, but the art world is brilliant.”

Flog It! will be at St Albans Cathedral between 9.30am and 4pm on Thursday, November 12. The items selected at the valuation day will go under the hammer at Tring Market Auctions on Saturday, December 5. Details: www.bbc.co.uk/flogit