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Peter Stringfellow: Why I named my children at nightclub

Published 14/03/2016

Peter Stringfellow and wife Bella
Peter Stringfellow and wife Bella

Peter Stringfellow has said he favoured Stringfellows nightclub over Westminster Cathedral as the venue for his children's naming ceremony.

The nightclub pioneer, 75, is 41 years older than his third wife Bella, a former Royal Ballet dancer.

During an interview with Hello! magazine, agnostic Stringfellow opened up about the rather unique setting for the celebration to officially name their children.

Baby Angelo is six months old and his sister Rosabella was born in 2013.

"We were offered Westminster Cathedral, but I said No," he said. "It would have felt hypocritical. None of that religious stuff sits well with me.

"And at the end of the day, Stringfellows is my heart and soul. This is where it all happens - it's even where I first met Bella, when she came in after performing with the English (National) Ballet at the Coliseum."

"I sent over a bottle of champagne and it went from there. So it's rather fitting to hold it here."

The son of a steelworker, Stringfellow started out on his career path with the Black Cat Club in 1960s Sheffield.

Back then, his focus was driven by the music sounds of the day, but that all changed 20 years later.

"I went to a strip club in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and loved it," he told the BBC in 2014.

"I then immediately opened up Stringfellows New York and it became a great success as I changed it to a strip club."

Stringfellows Covent Garden followed in 1980.

"It very quickly became the club to see and be seen in," he said.

But the adult reputation of Stringfellows necessitated some assurances.

Mrs Stringfellow said: "I did have to explain to a couple of concerned guests that it was the (Stringfellows) girls' day off on Sundays and no funny business would be going on."

"It's certainly different, but we're a controversial family and we like to be a bit wild."

Stringfellow's eventful love life saw him wed Norma Williams in 1960. Their five-year marriage produced a daughter named Karen.

Son Scott resulted from his 1967-1989 marriage to Coral Wright.

The club mogul told Hello! that his young daughter likes visiting the famous club.

"It's like a playground to her. But whenever I bring her to work, Bella always says to me, 'Do not let her go on the pole'."

Although it was not a religious occasion, the big day was presided over by Stringfellow's good friend Father Michael Seed, a former priest at Westminster Cathedral.

Celebrity hairdresser Nicky Clarke and his girlfriend Kelly Simpkin, godparents to Angelo, attended.

Actress Claire Sweeney and her 17-month-old son Jaxon were also among the friends and family.

Stringfellow, who walked up the aisle for the third time in 2009, was candid about becoming a father again in his 70s.

"The godparents' roles are to keep an eye on my children because I'm not going to be around that long," he said.

"I want them to use their life experience to help guide the children in the right direction whenever they need it."

::Read the full article in Hello! out now.

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From Belfast Telegraph