Mr Showbiz made town entertainment hotspot

Peter Bedford and the Two Ronnies
Peter Bedford and the Two Ronnies

A promoter who helped turn Eastbourne into the showbiz capital of the south during its 1960s heyday has died.

Peter Maxwell Bedford was 87-years-old when he passed away in his north west home and was laid to rest earlier this month at Rawdon Crematorium after a life spent mixing with some of the biggest names in light entertainment.

Mr Bedford was given the job of director of tourism and entertainments for Eastbourne in 1967 and succeeded in revamped the town’s image and establishing it as one of the south coast’s premier stop-offs for touring acts – attracting some big name to the town main venues and helping drive up the number of tourists visiting the area.

He was given an MBE for his services to the town and speaking at his funeral his son John told how his dad had always been ahead of his time when it came to booking bands.

He told mourners about how Mr Bedford had book an “up and coming group” from the north while working in Margate, saying, “That group was called The Beatles and a few months later they had their first number one hit with Please Please Me.”

As well as a life in entertainment, Mr Bedford was also a talented footballer and spent some time playing for Blackpool, before being given a job in the town’s publicity department. And it was in Blackpool that he met the love of his life, Kathleen, at a dance at the Tower Ballroom in 1947

His son added, “Anybody who has seen his house will have enjoyed looking at the pictures of him with the stars.”