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Al Burnett (1906–1973) was a British impresario, known as the "nightclub king". He ran the Stork Club in Swallow Street in London's West End.

Early lifeEdit

He was born Aaron Isaacs in Mile End, London.

CareerEdit

Burnett was master of ceremonies (MC) at a nightclub in London's Regent Street called The Nut House,[1] which was popular with jazz musicians during the war.[2]

In the late 1950s, notable guests at the Stork Club included Harold Macmillan, John Profumo, Peter Sellers, Frank Sinatra, Lana Turner, Bette Davis, Ava Gardner, Elizabeth Taylor, King Hussein of Jordan, and Jean Simmons.[3] In about 1969, he banned Barbara Windsor, who's agent was Burnett's son, Barry Burnett, for refusing to sit with a customer, even though she wasn't working as a hostess.[1][4]

It was later owned by Oscar Owide, eventually becoming a "sleazy hostess joint", before Marco Pierre White and Piers Adam tried (and failed) to revive it as a glamorous destination.[3]

Burnett owned The Astor, which was later acquired by Bertie Green.[5]

He owned the Pigalle Club in Piccadilly, and won the 1958 English Greyhound Derby with his dog Pigalle Wonder, who was a famous greyhound in his day, setting "new track records on seven of the most important courses in Britain".[6]

Burnett was also an actor, and appeared in King Arthur Was a Gentleman (1942), Café Continental (1947), and Sweet Beat (1959).[7]

ReferencesEdit

  1. 1.0 1.1 Mary Lee (18 October 2005). Forever Francie: My Life with Jack Milroy. Black & White Publishing. p. 29. ISBN 978-1-84502-832-9. https://books.google.com/books?id=-CUjAwAAQBAJ&pg=PT29. Retrieved 27 May 2017.
  2. "The jazz clubs". Henrybebop.co.uk. 29 August 1952. http://henrybebop.co.uk/clubs2.htm. Retrieved 26 May 2017.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Syrie Johnson (19 November 2001). "Return of the terrible twosome | London Evening Standard". Standard.co.uk. https://www.standard.co.uk/goingout/restaurants/return-of-the-terrible-twosome-6340967.html. Retrieved 26 May 2017.
  4. Sophia Chauchard-Stuart. "Question Time: Barbara Windsor". The Independent. https://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/question-time-barbara-windsor-1385726.html. Retrieved 26 May 2017.
  5. "» London hostess clubs of the 1960s". Stewarthomesociety.org. 16 April 2009. https://stewarthomesociety.org/blog/archives/1052. Retrieved 26 May 2017.
  6. Welcome. "Hall of Fame". Gbgb.org.uk. http://www.gbgb.org.uk/hall-of-fame.aspx?id=1017. Retrieved 26 May 2017.
  7. "Al Burnett - Biography - IMDb". imdb.com. https://www.imdb.com/name/nm0122333/bio. Retrieved 27 May 2017.
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