Felix Dennis ,the publishing magnate, kicked the bucket recently. Wealthy beyond dreams – possibly a billionaire – had a simple philosophy; ‘to have a blolody good time filling the gap between being born and dying’. He boasted that had spent £100 million on ‘sex,drugs and rock-n-roll – especially on drugs’.  Well, you can’t take it with you.

Born into poverty he left school without an O-level to his name, but found that he was a genuis at spotting opportunities in the magazine market. The one-time hippy began with the satirical underground  magazine Oz, started with his friends Richard Neville and James Anderson. However, it began badly and they were prosecuted under the Obscene Publications Act for publishing obscene cartoons in one issue, and convicted and sentenced to 15 months in goal. They won their subsequent appeal, but not before spending several weeks in prison first. After that the only way was up for Felix; he formed Dennis Publishing and was soon publishing titles such as Computer magazines, Kung Fu monthly, Auto Express, and many others.

Soon he had houses and estates all over the world, including in Mustique, where he spent half the year. He also acquired an estate near Stratford-upon-Avon, where up to a dozen women could be found at any given time. ‘Yes, I do have sex with all of them’, he said once, ‘and of course they all know about each other.  I am not monogamous  by nature and I can’t be any other way. That’s why I never married. The thought of waking up  every day in bed with the same woman horrifies me’. All his women knew he would never marry them, he said, and that they were free to leave him whenever they wished.

For years, he said, apart from expanding his business empire, he did almost nothing bu t have sex., take vast quantities of drugs and feel absolutely fantastic.

However he gave up drugs in 1997 and in recent years his interest in women has been slightly supereceded by his interest in trees and poetry. He had planted a millon trees in his Heart of England forest project on his estate, whilst he developed his love of poetry when in hospital being treated for throat cancer a decade ago. While there he began writing poetry and wrote his first collection, A Glass Half  Full. Afterwards he toured the country  with his poetry-reading show called DID I MENTION THE FREE WINE.  Was it any wonder he was always guaranteed an audience!

‘The forest will be my legacy’ he said shortly before he died.

Felix certainly put the H  in hedonism!


Oh, the silk of their flesh, once hidden beneath
Those mulberry bushes of plenty,
Their breast on my belly, their tongue in my teeth —
God! What it was like to be twenty!
Sweet Jenny, Ornella, and Charlotte, and Blaine,
In beds or on floors or al fresco,
The threesomes with Lily and knickerless Jane —
Now innocent mummies at Tesco!
                                        Felix Dennis


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