I work for Peter Stringfellow
Pat Jay is PA to the night-club owner
Wednesday 09 July 1997
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.
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