THE owner of a sex shop made famous by TV show That Peter Kay Thing has been hit with a hefty fine for allowing it to be run as a business without a licence.

John David Gill, landlord of the town centre building which houses Softys’ Hard Stuff, was taken to court by Bolton Council.

He pleaded guilty to knowingly permitting premises to be used as a sex shop without a sex shop licence, and was ordered to pay £4,000.

Bolton Magistrates’ Court heard that council licensing officers approached Gill, aged 57, of Hill Side, Heaton, in November, 2007.

He claimed that as the landlord, he did not know the nature of the business being run from the property in Bridge Street, Bolton, and subsequently threatened to terminate the lease.

However, at court, he pleaded guilty and was fined £3,000 and ordered to pay £1,000 costs.

Softys’ Hard Stuff became a household name in 2000 as a result of the episode of That Peter Kay Thing entitled The Ice Cream Man Cometh.

Gill said last night: “I’m going to appeal against the fine.

"I have now told the people at the shop to get their act together."