Monday 20 August 2018

Bob Mortimer pays tribute to ‘surprisingly charming’ Peter Stringfellow

The nightclub entrepreneur died from cancer.

Stringfellow died from cancer in the early hours of Thursday after spending time in hospital (Yui Mok/PA)
Stringfellow died from cancer in the early hours of Thursday after spending time in hospital (Yui Mok/PA)

By Lucy Mapstone, Press Association Deputy Entertainment Editor

Comedian Bob Mortimer has paid tribute to the entrepreneur and nightclub owner Peter Stringfellow, who has died at the age of 77.

Stringfellow died from cancer in the early hours of Thursday after spending time in hospital.

He appeared on the first episode of the first series of Shooting Stars, the panel show hosted by Mortimer and his comedy partner Vic Reeves (real name Jim Moir).

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Peter Stringfellow (PA)

Mortimer told the Press Association: “I just remember Peter as a surprisingly charming, witty man who was great company.

“I’ve seen a few Tweets today, a lot of which are saying the same thing, contrary to what you might have thought.”

Mortimer denied a character from a sketch he and Moir wrote and starred in – from their 1999 BBC series Bang, Bang, It’s Reeves and Mortimer – was based on Stringellow.

In the show Moir played a character called Paul Baron, a nightclub owner with a long hairstyle similar to Stringfellow’s, who starts putting on nights with dancing girls at the fictional club.

When asked if Baron was in anyway inspired by Stringfellow, Mortimer replied: “No he wasn’t. I say that because he was based on a real life person that we knew.”

Music star Boy George earlier tweeted: “R.I.P Peter Stringfellow. Wow, a big part of our lives and one of Sheffield’s finest. What a character.”

He added: “He introduced me and my mum to Princess Diana.”

Lord Sugar said he “regretfully” did not know the fellow businessman well, but was sorry to hear of his death and wished Stringfellow’s family well.

The Apprentice boss and business tycoon told the Press Association: “He was a character and England is made up of characters, aren’t we, and we’ve lost another flamboyant character.”

American singer Shiela Ferguson, formerly of The Three Degrees, shared a memory of Stringfellow, who she described as a “lifelong mate”.

She tweeted a picture of herself meeting Diana, Princess of Wales, alongside the nightclub owner, and wrote: “Just waking to the news of my lifelong mate #PeterStringfellow. We 1st met here, Albert Hall, when we were appearing at The Princes Ball for #Charles and Diana.

“Peter & I only flew together from Mallorca a while ago. RIP dear friend.”

BBC radio presenter Tony Blackburn called Stringfellow a “terrific guy who lived life to the full” and was “a wonderful person to be with”.

Blackburn added in a tweet: “He was always full of fun and to me was a big part of he 60’s and 70’s. R.I.P. Peter x.”

Comedian David Baddiel shared a humorous story from a time he met Stringfellow.

He wrote: “He had a sense of humour beyond the haircut. I asked him what he’d be doing if he hadn’t ended up running strip clubs. He said: ‘Two words: benefit fraud’.”

Good Morning Britain host Piers Morgan described Stringfellow as the “King of the Clubs”, and said he was a “warm, funny, kind & incredibly generous guy”.

Morgan added: “Thanks for all the laughs, Pete.”

Novelist and journalist Tony Parsons shared a picture of Stringfellow with musicians Stevie Wonder and Marvin Gaye, and tweeted they are “three legends”.

Parsons added: “Peter had the biggest hair and the biggest heart. A lovely man.”

Actress Vicki Michelle said she had known Stringfellow for more than 40 years and she was “so sad” to hear of his death.

“Self-made kind generous & a lovely man he was the ultimate host. Always a joy to be with, a big loss to the entertainment world as well as those who knew him. Thoughts are with his family #PeterStringfellow,” the former ‘Allo Allo! star tweeted.

Comedy actress Su Pollard, who worked with Stringfellow, told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “He was a fantastic role model for other entrepreneurs.

“When he was in the room – for a start, I used to think he was so handsome, I love men with long hair – he was lovely.

“I liked him because he was always warm, he could have probably been in showbiz in another area, but he chose to be an entrepreneur.

“You miss people that are large, and are givers. He gave of himself such a lot. He was a great person to be around, I feel for his family.”

Former boxing champion Frank Bruno was among those to pay tribute to Stringfellow, tweeting: “I met this man a few times over the years. A great guy & king of the discos. My thoughts are with his family.”

TV personality Calum Best tweeted he had “so many amazing memories” with the club magnate, adding: “From when I first came to UK and he took care of me for years in his club to staying with him and his family in Spain.

“Rest in peace friend, my thoughts r with ur family. No doubt a legacy will live on.”

Comic Rufus Hound wrote: “RIP Peter Stringfellow. You’re with the angels now. So no change there.”

Former England rugby player Brian Moore said Stringfellow was “very good company” after having spoken with him at a Cambridge Union debate some time ago.

Stringfellow is survived by his wife Bella and four children.

Press Association

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