Sheffield-born Peter Stringfellow has defended choosing his strip club as the venue for his children’s naming ceremony.
The 75-year-old, who ran the Black Cat Club in Sheffield in the 1960s before opening strip clubs in New York and London 20 years later, said he could have had the ceremony at Westminster Cathedral but opted for Stringfellows in Covent Garden.
Stringfellow, who is 41 years older than his third wife Bella - a former Royal Ballet dancer - invited a string of celebrity guests to the naming ceremony for six-month-old son Angelo and his sister Rosabella, who 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 said the adult reputation of his club had raised some concerns.
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.”
The club mogul told Hello! magazine 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.”