Tony Barrow, the Beatles publicist who coined 'Fab Four', dies at 80

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The British publicist who coined the phrase "Fab Four" to describe the early Beatles has died.

Tony Barrow, 80, died in a Lancaster hospital on Saturday following a lengthy illness, his son Mike Barrow said on Tuesday.

Tony Barrow, right, with Beatles manager Brian Epstein (Dezo Hoffmann/Rex)
Tony Barrow, right, with Beatles manager Brian Epstein (Dezo Hoffmann/Rex)

Former Beatle Paul McCartney said Tony "was a lovely guy who helped us in the early years of the Beatles." He called Tony "super professional but always ready for a laugh".

Mike said his father coined the phrase at a time when the word "fab" was in common usage. He says "he just put the two together ... it was a masterstroke".

Paul McCartney called him
Paul McCartney called him "super professional but always ready for a laugh" (PA)

Tony started working with the Beatles in 1962 before the Liverpool band shot to worldwide fame.

He is survived by his widow Corinne and sons Mike and Mark.