After opening a strip club, Raymond became very wealthy, buying property on a large scale and launched Paul Raymond Publications with the soft-porn magazine Men Only, soon followed by Escort, Club International, Mayfair and many other titles.The outbreak of World War II prompted relocation to Glossop, Derbyshire, where he was educated by the Irish Christian Brothers.
All that changed when he introduced two tap dancers to his routine.
A ruling by the Lord Chancellor forbade any nudes moving on stage, so to comply with it Raymond placed women on podiums which were wheeled across stage while they remained stationary. But it was his leasing of the Doric Ballroom in Soho – later renamed the Revuebar and the first venue in Britain to stage live striptease shows – in 1958 that would ensure his star's ascent.
He defended it as the work of an honest bon viveur, a man whose job it was to match supply with demand.
To his detractors – and there were many – that was precisely the problem.
Among the models featured in his magazines was Fiona Richmond, who became Raymond's girlfriend towards the end of his marriage to Jean Bradley (1951–74).
In 1974, he purchased the lease on the Windmill Cinema and returned it to the original name, the Windmill Theatre.
The Lord Chamberlain's Office controlled what was allowed on theatre stages and ruled that nudes could not move, thus when Raymond toured with a show featuring nudes they were presented as statues, which moved about the stage on podiums.
Raymond's preference, in this context, was for women between 18 and 30 years old, 5 feet 8 inches tall and with a chest measurement of no more than 36 inches.
Yesterday tributes were paid to the man who brought the first striptease to Britain.