Peter Stringfellow has revealed he turned down the chance to hold the naming ceremony for his two children in Westminster Cathedral – opting instead for his famous lapdancing nightclub. And in an exclusive interview with HELLO!, he reveals it was far from a traditional celebration.
"We were offered Westminster Cathedral, but I said no," says Peter, a long-time agnostic, of the ceremony to official name Angelo, six months, and two-year-old Rosabella. "It would have felt hypocritical. None of that religious stuff sits well with me.
Peter and his wife Bella held their children's naming ceremony in his famous nightclub
"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."
"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," laughs his wife Bella. "It's certainly different, but we're a controversial family and we like to be a bit wild."
Peter, 75, adds: "[Rosabella] loves being here. 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.'"
The naming ceremony was not a religious occasion, but it was presided over by Peter's good friend Father Michael Seed, a former priest at Westminster Cathedral.
Celebrity hairdresser Nicky Clarke and his girlfriend Kelly Simpkin have been named godparents to Angelo, were among those who attended, alongside actress Claire Sweeney and her 17-month-old son Jaxon.
"The godparents' roles are to keep an eye on my children because I'm not going to be around that long," says Peter. "I want them to use their life experience to help guide the children in the right direction whenever they need it."
Read the full interview in this week's HELLO! magazine, on sale now in all good newsagents and available to download on iPad, android, kindle fire and more formats. Or subscribe today to make sure you don't miss an issue!