Celebrity chef Aldo Zilli has lifted the lid on some of the antics stars including the likes of Freddie Mercury, Kate Moss and Keith Lemon used to get up to when visiting his Soho restaurant Signor Zilli.
The restaurateur, 67 – who specialises in Italian cuisine and also opened eateries Zilli Green, Zilli Café and Zilli Bar – has spoken of the time the late Queen singer Freddie Mercury filled his restaurant with smoke.
He also divulged why he had to ban comedian and television presenter Keith Lemon from his restaurants after he ‘misbehaved’.
Looking back at his visits from friend Freddie Mercury, who died in 1991 at the age of 45, Aldo told The Sun: ‘There were loads of celebrities at Signor Zilli’s that night and everyone was a little bit drunk.
‘It seems crazy saying it out loud, but Freddie Mercury had gone downstairs to make himself some chips but he forgot to put the oil in the fryer.
Celebrity secrets: Chef Aldo Zilli, 67, has lifted the lid on the antics stars including Freddie Mercury, Kate Moss and Keith Lemon used to get up at his Soho restaurant Signor Zilli
‘All this smoke started coming up the stairs, filling the restaurant.
‘I went down to see what was going on and there was Freddie stood there in all this thick smoke.’
He said despite their strong friendship, Freddie always insisted on paying Aldo when dining at his establishments.
Aldo reminisced about the times Freddie would come into the restaurant and quietly sit in the corner to eat his food before the pair went clubbing together in London’s West End.
Meanwhile, Aldo recalled the time he had to ban Keith Lemon, real name Leigh Francis, from his restaurants after he caused havoc while doing karaoke before he rose to prominence.
The former Celebrity Juice host, 49, would go Zilli Fish at lunchtime and sing the 1998 hit When Will I Be Famous? by Bros to the diners.
Aldo claimed Keith would go into the toilets and change into costume to perform as a character, one time interrupting filmmaker Alan Parker’s meal to serenade him at his table.
Alan is said to have told Aldo: ‘Listen, if you don’t bar that guy I’m never coming back to your restaurant again,’ so Keith was banned from visiting Zilli Fish, prompting the pair not to speak for 10 years.
Blunder: The restaurateur spoke of the time the late Queen singer Freddie Mercury filled his restaurant with smoke after cooking some chips (Freddie pictured in 1985)
Aldo also sung the praises of supermodel Kate Moss, 49, who he described as ‘lovely’ and insisted never ‘misbehaved’ in his restaurants.
Chef Aldo build his restaurant business up from the ground having arrived from Italy with just £100 to his name in the late 1970s.
He quit the London restaurant scene in 2012 having sold off his eateries but returned just before Christmas last year with Lucarelli, which is located in department store Harvey Nichols in posh Knightsbridge.
Cheeky: Aldo recalled the time he had to ban Keith Lemon, real name Leigh Francis, from his restaurants after he caused havoc while doing karaoke before he rose to prominence (Keith pictured in 2008)
Angelic: Aldo also sung the praises of supermodel Kate Moss, 49, who he described as ‘lovely’ and insisted never ‘misbehaved’ in his restaurants (pictured in 1993)
Fashionista: Supermodel Naomi Campbell was also a regular visitor to his restaurants (pictured in 1995)
High life: Aldo said he used to spend afternoons drinking with television and radio presenter Chris Evans when his restaurants were open in London (pictured 1993)
And the location brings back happy memories for Aldo – he said the bar next door reminds him of the afternoons he used to spend drinking with TV and radio host Chris Evans, 41.
He said nobody would know the pair were hidden away in the corner of the pub enjoying a tipple, with the pair sitting there for hours without being bothered by fans.
Aldo added of his new restaurant: ‘We’ve already had a few famous faces in and we’ve just started stocking Gary Barlow’s wine.
‘It feels good to be back.’
Success: Chef Aldo build his restaurant business up from the ground having arrived from Italy with just £100 to his name in the late 1970s and has opened a new establishment in the UK (pictured with Patsy Palmer in 2008)