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Obituary: Peter Boizot MBE (1929-2018)

Peter Boizot had four great passions: pizza, jazz, Peterborough and Liberalism! With all four he was liberal in his support, both with finance and in enthusiasm. He had great entrepreneurial acumen so that his delightfully naive belief that what he was enthusiastic about would also create paying customers often proved to be the case, making him a very rich man. He was not at all embarrassed by being rich as he simply regarded wealth as a means of supporting his passions and financing new ideas.
 
His innate liberalism also showed in ways that others would regard as eccentric. When businesses started up in other parts of the country or abroad copying the Pizza Express style and menu, rather than suing them he regarded it as a tribute to his success and as an encouragement for their customers also to patronise his restaurants. Having introduced a string quartet in Pizza Express on one evening a week, his accountant produced figures to show that the extra cost meant they were losing money, Peter ignored the evidence on the grounds that music and food went well together and that it would encourage repeat visits. Also, rather than give cash to beggars encountered on his way through Soho to his restaurant, he would offer them employment.
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