Michael Winner memorial service takes place today

Stars of stage and screen are to attend the memorial service for movie director and personality Michael Winner later today. Winner died in January aged 77.

Famous faces set to attend the celebration of the life and work of the film director, restaurant critic and television personality include actor Sir Michael Caine, chat show host Sir Michael Parkinson and thespian Sir Roger Moore.

As well as tributes from celebrity friends Winner’s widow Geraldine will also speak at the memorial as will Met Commissioner Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe.

Michael Winner was born in Hampstead, North London, in 1935. He began is foray into directing working for the BBC as an assistant director. By the 1960s he was making a name for himself in movie production in the UK and a decade later in America.

Friend, James Bond star, Roger Moore

In later years he became a personality in his own right, appearing on chat shows such as Parkinson and debate series such as Question Time as well as acting guest spots as himself including in BBC One drama Hotel Babylon and ITV’s The Kenny Everett Video Show. Additionally, Winner served as a food critic for The Sunday Times with his own regular column Winner’s Dinners.

He was also well known as the face of Esure insurance company bringing with him a much copied catchphrase “Calm down dear, its only a commercial” following a disastrous scenario playing out.

The service takes place at the National Police Memorial in central London which Winner helped found when he lead the creation of the Police Memorial Trust following the death of police officer Yvonne Fletcher in 1984.

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