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Steve Coogan to play porn impresario Paul Raymond in King of Soho

Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon in A Cock & Bull Story

Story by Jack Foley

STEVE Coogan is to play porn impresario Paul Raymond in Michael Winterbottom’s King of Soho in a new star-studded British film.

Film4, Revolution Films and STUDIOCANAL announced the all-star British line-up for Winterbottom’s latest, which will be called King of Soho after the name with which Raymond was dubbed with by the press due to his huge club and property empire which, along with his porn business, amassed him a fortune of billions of pounds.

Anna Friel will play Paul’s first wife Jean Raymond, Tamsin Edgerton his glamour model girlfriend Fiona Richmond, and Imogen Poots will star as Paul’s beloved daughter Debbie Raymond.

Commenting on the role, Coogan said: “I’m very excited to be working with Michael Winterbottom again. Like 24 Hour Party People, we want to capture the life of an extraordinary man living in extraordinary times.”

Winterbottom added: “The King of Soho chronicles the colourful life and times of Paul Raymond, who began his career on stage as an end-of-the-pier mind-reader and ended his life the richest man in Britain.

“It’s the perfect role for Steve Coogan and it is great we have Anna Friel, Tamsin Egerton and Imogen Poots playing the three most important women in his life.”

And Katherine Butler, Film4’s Senior Commissioning Executive, commented: “Paul Raymond was a larger-than-life character and I can’t think of a better combination of Matt, Michael and Steve, alongside an incredible line-up of British acting talent, to tell his extraordinary story.

“It’s so exciting to be working once again with Michael, Revolution and our great friends at STUDIOCANAL, on a film which promises to channel the essence of Paul’s life – flamboyant, unconventional, risqué, fun, and ultimately, bittersweet.”

After starting his showbusiness career as a mind-reader in a cabaret act, Paul Raymond went on to become Britain’s richest man and a modern King Midas.

With an entrepreneurial eye and a realisation that sex sells, he began building his empire of gentleman’s clubs, porn magazines and nude theatre – provoking outrage and titillation in equal measure.

Raymond’s personal life was as colourful as his revue shows. His marriage to Jean, a nude dancer and choreographer, ended in a difficult divorce when he met Fiona – a glamour model who became the famous pin-up star of his magazines and shows.

His daughter Debbie was the true love of his life, his business partner and heir to his empire – until her tragic and untimely death aged 36.

Three weeks later Raymond was named Britain’s richest man and his fortune put at 1.5billion.

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