A FORMER leading MP from the region who also enjoyed success as a shopping magnate, pirate radio entrepreneur and hypnotherapist, has died at the age of 91.

Wilf Proudfoot, whose colourful career often saw him hit the headlines, was a self-made man who was proud of his North-East origins and lived for most of his life in Scarborough.

He was brought up in a terraced house in Gladstone Street, Crook, where his father, a First World War hero who had been awarded the Military Cross, managed a store.

He first earned pocket money as a 12-year-old, filling blue bags with sugar - however he went on to pioneer supermarket shopping in this country, eventually running a chain of 15 stores that bore his name.

At 14 he moved to Scarborough, stayed with maiden aunts who had a boarding house and began as a junior with an accountancy practice in Durham.

He served throughout the war as an NCO fitter in the RAF, then returned to Scarborough where he used his RAF gratuity to help buy his first shop and soon started building up his chain of supermarkets.

His political career began in 1950 when he became a local councillor and after unsuccessfully fighting two by-elections for the Tories he reached the Commons in 1959, taking the Redcar-centred Cleveland constituency from Labour.

Unseated five years later, he returned to Parliament in 1970, winning the Brighouse and Spenborough constituency, which he held for another four years.

In between he became managing director of Radio 270, a pirate radio station operating from the North Sea which was closed down by the Marine Offences Act in 1967.

During his Parliamentary career he was at the forefront of the campaign for the switch to a decimal currency and after losing his last seat famously had a £1,000 facelift in California from a surgeon who had once been married to Zsa Zsa Gabor.

In the late 70s he began yet another career when he became interested in hypnotherapy and started the Proudfoot School of Hypnosis and Hypnotherapy, published The Consumer Guide to Hypnosis, and from 1983 chaired the British Council of Hypnotist Examiners.

Five years ago he told The Northern Echo: “I suppose I am content. I just wish I'd done a lot more different things.”

Mr Proudfoot leaves a widow, Peggy, and three children.