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Peter Stringfellow: Nightclub owner dies aged 77

Nightclub owner Peter Stringfellow has died at the age of 77, a spokesman has said.

The businessman, who had cancer which he had kept private, died in the early hours of Thursday morning.

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The so-called King of Clubs opened many venues around the world and his eponymous club in London's West End became a magnet for celebrities.

The Beatles, The Kinks and Jimi Hendrix were among those he booked in his six decades in the industry.

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His family have asked for privacy. He leaves behind his wife, Bella, and four children.

His publicist, Matt Glass said: "It's very sad news. He passed away in the early hours of this morning. It was kept very private, he didn't want to tell. He wanted to keep it a secret."

He added that the Stringfellows club in Covent Garden will continue to operate "as normal".

'One of Sheffield's finest'

Peter Stringfellow (left, with his third wife Bella and children Rosabella and Angelo in 2017)

Peter with Bella in 2009

Former boxing champion Frank Bruno was among those to pay tribute, describing him as "a great guy and king of the discos".

Novelist and journalist Tony Parsons shared a picture of Stringfellow alongside American singers Stevie Wonder and Marvin Gaye, calling them "three legends".

BBC Radio presenter Tony Blackburn tweeted: "He was a terrific guy who lived life to the full and was a wonderful person to be with. He was always full of fun and, to me, was a big part of the 60s and 70s."

Singer Boy George described him as a character who was "one of Sheffield's finest", adding he was "a big part of our lives".

Son of a Sheffield steelworker, Stringfellow started in the night-time trade in the early 1960s and he initially held normal music nights in his home city.

In 1980 he opened Stringfellows in Covent Garden, describing it as the world's premier gentleman's club.

The Upper St Martin's Lane venue was an immediate success, frequented by international film and music stars, and he went on to launch venues in New York, Miami, Beverly Hills and Paris.

Peter dated former page 3 model Helen Benoist before his third marriage and the former couple were involved in a number of outlandish stunts in the 1990s

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Culled from BBC