A man who made Eastbourne the “showbiz capital of the South” has died at the age of 87.

Peter Maxwell Bedford, who received an MBE for his services to the town, was laid to rest with a service at Rawdon Crematorium.

During his career he worked with some of the biggest names of the time, going on to form friendships with many of them.

Mr Bedford, who spent his latter years in Ilkley and Guiseley, was born in Keighley but moved to Blackpool as a child.

He met Kathleen, the love of his life, at a dance at the Tower Ballroom in 1947 and their son John was born in 1956.He played for Blackpool Football Club but went on to work in the town’s publicity department, before becoming publicity manager of the seaside resort of Margate.

His son John told mourners how his father put on an “up and coming group” from the North.

“That group was called The Beatles and a few months later they had their first number 1 hit with Please Please Me,” he said. In 1967 Mr Bedford became Director of Tourism and Entertainments for Eastbourne, responsible for attracting big names to the town. John said: “Anybody who has seen his office at his house in Guiseley will have enjoyed looking at the pictures on the wall of him with the stars.”