Paul Raymond is the subject of 'The Look of Love', in UK cinemas now, a sometimes funny, sometimes seedy, ultimately tragic tale detailing the rollercoaster ride of one of Great Britain's most notorious entrepeneurs.
Steve Coogan plays the Soho-based landlord come entertainment supremo, who based his fortune on a single realisation... that "people liked to look at attractive girls, and they liked it even more if the girls had no clothes on" (is how Coogan describes it in the film, which we can guess from what followed, to be a pretty accurate version of events).
Steve Coogan in full flow as Paul Raymond in 'The Look of Love'
Paul Raymond at a glance...
- Paul Raymond was born Geoffrey Anthony Quinn in Liverpool in November 1925
- He reportedly evaded National Service by feigning a weak heart condition
- After playing the drums in various bands, his first real break into showbusiness came as a 'mind-reader' on Clacton Pier at the age of 22
- He opened Britain's first strip club as a private members' bar in 1958 - within two years, it had 45,000 members
- In 1961, he was fined £5,000 for 'running an unruly house' - for allowing customers to ring the Ding Dong Girls' bells
- In January 1967, he was initiated as member number 644 of the Grand Order of Water Rats for his contribution to entertainment in the UK
- He owned the Whitehall Theatre, where the sex comedy Pyjama Tops ran for five years
- At one point, he owned sixty acres of property between Shaftesbury Avenue and Oxford Street in the centre of London. He was dubbed 'The King of Soho'
- Paul Raymond was named Britain's richest man in 1992 with an estimated net worth of £1.5 billion
- Only weeks before his beloved daughter Debbie had died from a drug overdose, a tragedy from which he never fully recovered, and after which he became a recluse. He died in 2008.
- When Michael Winterbottom and Steve Coogan first started working on their film, it was called 'The King of Soho' - a title, it turned out, had been bagged by one of Raymond's sones for his own biopic - hence the change of name.
The Look of Love, starring Steve Coogan, Anna Friel, Chris Addison, Gemma Arterton, Imogen Poots and David Walliams, is in UK cinemas now. Watch the trailer above, and premiere pictures below...