Peter Christianson, the founder and owner of “Greek City” has died. He was 76 years old.
Peter was extremely well-known across London’s Greek community; he sadly passed away at 2.30 am on Thursday morning, 9th August at Barnet General Hospital, after battling lung cancer for almost a year and a half.
Despite his struggle, he continued to spend as much time as he could in his shop in Myddleton Road, Wood Green, strongly advocating and supporting Greek Cypriot talent, even to his last breath.
The legendary founder of ‘Greek City’ in London managed his business originally-based in Green Lanes, Haringey in the 1980’s. He later relocated to Palmers Green, followed by South London. Until his deteriorating health, he was still seen recently at his premises in Myddleton Road, Wood Green. This was where locals and many from London’s wider Greek-Cypriot community would regularly stop for a chat and a coffee. Peter felt strongly about providing a service to the Cypriot community, well before the age of social media, the internet and DVDs.
Long-time friend Olympia Toumazides-Theodorou said, “…the community have been his family for 43 years, he lived and breathed Greek City”.
Peter was the first to bring Greek films and music videos to the UK and make them available on video and DVD. He was one of the first to promote and manage Greek bands and was known as ‘Mr Entertainment’ after staging a string of successful concerts in the UK, including one with Yiannis Parios and Haris Alexiou at the Royal Albert Hall. He sold concert tickets to ensure that events would be accessible to as many people as possible, even embracing online retail, complementing the interpersonal shine Peter and Olympia always had a reputation for.
Peter was the manager/agent of a whole host of singers/bands/musicians and well-known to be completely supportive of young Greek/Cypriot organic talent within our community.
LGR presenter Tony Neophytou said, “I’ve been to numerous events and seen first-hand, Peter inspiring artists to really believe in their stage-skills and personality; From the Chapman Brothers and Valentino Antos to the Grecian Kings and Tony Panayi, to name but a few. It’s inspiring, a trait to motivate others, something we should all do.”
Mr Christianson co-presented a music show on LGR with his side-kick Olympia, for a number of years. His sometimes cheeky sense of humour and natural radio chemistry appealed to listeners.
He was last heard on LGR two months ago on 6th June, which featured entertainer Bambas Shaouna; the comedy-act which appeared on ITV’s ‘Britain’s Got Talent’. Bambas was under Peter’s tutorage in the 1970’s and their enduring friendship for almost 50 years is all the more poignant in the context of Peter gaining his wings.
The fellow band-mates performed as the Aphrodite and Grecian Kings band in 1974; with Aphrodite being Peter’s deceased wife. In a rather lovely story, Peter explained how his “gift-of-the-gab” convinced Granada TV bosses into giving them a five-minute slot on ‘The Wheeltappers and Shunters Social Club’; one of the biggest TV shows of the time.
Peter always had that sparkle in his eye, happily announcing, “LGR – it’s our only radio station.”
He was born 26th December 1941 in the village of Lythrodondas and was educated at the English School in Nicosia.
Peter’s final request was to be laid to rest beside his parents in Lythrodondas. However, a very unique and special service for Peter will be held in London. These details will be made available once confirmed.
Peter, your memory will live forever in the history of the Cypriot community, along with your legacy and inspiration, which leaves an endemic mark on so many lives.
The staff and management of London Greek Radio share in the community’s grief at this sad time and we express our deep and sincere condolences to all of Peter’s family, friends and relations.
Peter Christianson 1941-2018