I work for Peter Stringfellow

Pat Jay is PA to the night-club owner

I worked at Atlantic Records for 14 years as a secretary, but when my boss left I felt it was time for a change so I answered an ad for a company called Hippodrome, owned by Peter Stringfellow and run by his wife. Initially I got the job of day manageress at Peter's club, becoming Peter's PA nine years ago. People ask me what a night-club owner does during the day, which makes me laugh, as if a club runs itself! Peter is his club; he puts everything into it, and he isn't just a night-club owner, he is also a celebrity, which means more work.

At 10.30am I arrive at the office, which is below Peter's flat, next door to Stringfellows. Once I've gone through the post I phone him, and at about 12.30 he appears, usually in his dressing-gown. His office is next door to mine but we have an interconnecting door which we have open. The first task is dictation. We get a lot of correspondence from celebrities and TV people: Noel Edmonds thanks Peter for being on House Party, or Freddie Forsyth thanks him for looking after his son at the club.

Meanwhile I deal with the press enquiries. Recently Rick Parfitt came to the club shortly after his triple bypass; the press wanted to know how he stood up to having the Cabaret Angels topless dancers at his table. Peter is known to be a real charmer who knows how to treat women. Live!TV filmed him in the office advising a young man how to dress for success with girls, and a while ago he had a photoshoot with four girls in his Jacuzzi.

The phones also ring constantly with requests for celebrity appearances, or calls from one of the dancers. Peter is a hands-on person, but sometimes he has to pass things over to me. At the moment I am helping him organise the Cabaret Angels' first birthday.

The operations manager and the corporate business manager don't arrive until 5pm or 6pm, and Peter and I often work until 7pm or 8pm, until Peter gets ready for the club. People imagine that this is a job for a younger woman, but I think being more mature helps me keep my feet on the ground. My head has never been turned by celebrities, unlike the receptionist who, while working here, went off with Kevin Costner and then sold her story.

I've encountered many famous people, and bands such as Led Zeppelin and Yes, but I've never asked for so much as an autograph. I know that even though I've chatted with Rod Stewart several times he wouldn't remember me if we met again, and why should he? Mind you, when Mel Gibson came to meet Peter I was speechless for the first time in my life. Mel arrived first and sat charming and entertaining me for some time, showing me magic tricks including spoon-bending. I had to keep that spoon - but my son bent it back into shape before I could explain its significance.

Peter is always at ease, regardless of who he's with. He expects a lot of attention, but that's because he takes his job seriously. In some ways he's a lovable rogue; he becomes a party animal at night, but it is still work to him. I sometimes join him at the restaurant if it's a special occasion, such as an Angel of the month evening or a St Trinian's night, but on the whole I am office-bound, though I did get to travel to Los Angeles and New York for the opening of Peter's clubs, which was wonderful.

The most exciting moment of my working life here was when after three years of struggling we managed to get the cabaret licence for the topless dancers. We went through so many court appearances together that I felt very much involved. It took a while for me to understand the cabaret but now it doesn't worry me, even when my husband is watching, since I'm not in competition with the dancers. Occasionally I mention that I feel something is too risque, but Peter just laughs and says "Don't be such a Julie Andrews".

There have been the odd sticky moments when I've been at a loss - such as when one girlfriend turns up unexpectedly at the club while Peter is having dinner with another. I have to laugh that a Catholic convent girl like me ended up working for Peter Stringfellow, but I have a family life and good friends so I think I have the best of both worlds. I hope to carry on working for Peter indefinitely.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
Life and Style
love + sex
Arts and Entertainment
Victoria Wood, Kayvan Novak, Alexa Chung, Chris Moyles
tvReview: No soggy bottoms, but plenty of other baking disasters on The Great Comic Relief Bake Off
Ashley Young celebrates the winner for Manchester United against Newcastle
footballNewcastle 0 Man United 1: Last minute strike seals precious victory
Life and Style
Tikka Masala has been overtaken by Jalfrezi as the nation's most popular curry
food + drink
Arts and Entertainment
Seth Rogan is one of America’s most famous pot smokers
filmAmy Pascal resigned after her personal emails were leaked following a cyber-attack sparked by the actor's film The Interview
Benjamin Netanyahu and his cartoon bomb – the Israeli PM shows his ‘evidence’
Arts and Entertainment
80s trailblazer: comedian Tracey Ullman
Life and Style
A statue of the Flemish geographer Gerard Kremer, Geradus Mercator (1512 - 1594) which was unveiled at the Geographical Congree at Anvers. He was the first person to use the word atlas to describe a book of maps.
techThe 16th century cartographer created the atlas
Arts and Entertainment
Stephen Tompkinson is back as DCI Banks
tvReview: Episode one of the new series played it safe, but at least this drama has a winning formula
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Media

Recruitment Genius: Sales Ledger & Credit Control Assistant

£14000 - £17000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Sales Ledger & Credit Control...

Recruitment Genius: Junior PHP Web Developer

£16000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...

Guru Careers: Front End Web Developer

£35 - 40k + Benefits: Guru Careers: Our client help leading creative agencies ...

Christine McCleave: FP&A Analyst

£36,000 - £40,000: Christine McCleave: Are you looking for a new opportunity a...

Day In a Page

War with Isis: Iraq's government fights to win back Tikrit from militants - but then what?

Baghdad fights to win back Tikrit from Isis – but then what?

Patrick Cockburn reports from Kirkuk on a conflict which sectarianism has made intractable
Living with Alzheimer's: What is it really like to be diagnosed with early-onset dementia?

What is it like to live with Alzheimer's?

Depicting early-onset Alzheimer's, the film 'Still Alice' had a profound effect on Joy Watson, who lives with the illness. She tells Kate Hilpern how she's coped with the diagnosis
The Internet of Things: Meet the British salesman who gave real-world items a virtual life

Setting in motion the Internet of Things

British salesman Kevin Ashton gave real-world items a virtual life
Election 2015: Latest polling reveals Tories and Labour on course to win the same number of seats - with the SNP holding the balance of power

Election 2015: A dead heat between Mr Bean and Dick Dastardly!

Lord Ashcroft reveals latest polling – and which character voters associate with each leader
Audiences queue up for 'true stories told live' as cult competition The Moth goes global

Cult competition The Moth goes global

The non-profit 'slam storytelling' competition was founded in 1997 by the novelist George Dawes Green and has seen Malcolm Gladwell, Salman Rushdie and Molly Ringwald all take their turn at the mic
Pakistani women come out fighting: A hard-hitting play focuses on female Muslim boxers

Pakistani women come out fighting

Hard-hitting new play 'No Guts, No Heart, No Glory' focuses on female Muslim boxers
Leonora Carrington transcended her stolid background to become an avant garde star

Surreal deal: Leonora Carrington

The artist transcended her stolid background to become an avant garde star
LGBT History Month: Pupils discuss topics from Sappho to same-sex marriage

Education: LGBT History Month

Pupils have been discussing topics from Sappho to same-sex marriage
11 best gel eyeliners

Go bold this season: 11 best gel eyeliners

Use an ink pot eyeliner to go bold on the eyes with this season's feline flicked winged liner
Cricket World Cup 2015: Tournament runs riot to make the event more hit than miss...

Cricket World Cup runs riot to make the event more hit than miss...

The tournament has reached its halfway mark and scores of 300 and amazing catches abound. One thing never changes, though – everyone loves beating England
Katarina Johnson-Thompson: Heptathlete ready to jump at first major title

Katarina Johnson-Thompson: Ready to jump at first major title

After her 2014 was ruined by injury, 21-year-old Briton is leading pentathlete going into this week’s European Indoors. Now she intends to turn form into gold
Syrian conflict is the world's first 'climate change war', say scientists, but it won't be the last one

Climate change key in Syrian conflict

And it will trigger more war in future
How I outwitted the Gestapo

How I outwitted the Gestapo

My life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
The nation's favourite animal revealed

The nation's favourite animal revealed

Women like cuddly creatures whilst men like creepy-crawlies
Is this the way to get young people to vote?

Getting young people to vote

From #VOTESELFISH to Bite the Ballot