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Sir Michael Caine recalls 'tender' Winner at memorial

Speaking at a memorial service for Michael Winner, Sir Michael Caine said he knew the director - who died in January this year - for 53 years.

The Italian Job actor said of meeting Winner the first time: "He was the kindest, nicest, most gentle person you could think of - and that is where I was completely wrong.

"He was the most miserable son-of-a-b**** once you got to know him, and I didn't understand why he did it.

Sir Michael Caine speaking at Michael Winner's memorial service.
Sir Michael Caine speaking at Michael Winner's memorial service. Credit: Anthony Devlin/PA Wire

"He was testing you, and he always tested people to see how far you would go before you disliked him.

"I said to him, 'Michael, you can go as far as you like with me. I will never dislike you. Do you understand that?'

"He said, 'Yes, I've got it'. And then he became my friend. And as many of you will not believe, he became a tender, gentle person with me all my life".

Stars honour Michael Winner at memorial service

Cilla Black, Carol Vorderman and Sir Michael Parkinson were among the stars that honoured Michael Winner at a memorial service today.

Cilla Black arrives for the Michael Winner memorial service at the National Police Memorial in London,
Cilla Black arrives for the Michael Winner memorial service at the National Police Memorial in London, Credit: Anthony Devlin/PA Wire
Carol Vorderman arrives for the Michael Winner memorial service.
Carol Vorderman arrives for the Michael Winner memorial service. Credit: Anthony Devlin/PA Wire
Michael Winner's widow Geraldine Winner (left) shows Lord and Lady Archer to their seats.
Michael Winner's widow Geraldine Winner (left) shows Lord and Lady Archer to their seats. Credit: Anthony Devlin/PA Wire
Sir Michael Parkinson is greeted by Michael Winners' widow Geraldine Winner.
Sir Michael Parkinson is greeted by Michael Winners' widow Geraldine Winner. Credit: Anthony Devlin/PA Wire

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Caine, Moore and Parkinson attend Winner memorial

A memorial service for the film director Michael Winner was attended today by two giants of British cinema - Sir Roger Moore and Sir Michael Caine.

The movie stars joined the veteran broadcaster Sir Michael Parkinson and Winner's wife Geraldine to pay tribute to the filmmaker-turned-food critic at the National Police Memorial in central London.

Sir Michael Caine, Sir Roger Moore and Sir Michael Parkinson during the Michael Winner memorial service. Credit: Anthony Devlin/PA Wire

Winner, who set up the Police Memorial Trust following the death of Pc Yvonne Fletcher in 1984, was also hailed by Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe, while a message from Prime Minister David Cameron was read out.

Around 100 people gathered in the north east corner of St James's Park to witness the unveiling of a plaque in honour of Winner.

Read: Memorial for Michael Winner

Stars to honour TV star Michael Winner at memorial

TV star Michael Winner, who died in January.
TV star Michael Winner, who died in January. Credit: David Jones/PA Wire/Press Association Images

Stars including Sir Michael Caine, Sir Michael Parkinson and Sir Roger Moore will speak later today at a memorial for film director and restaurant critic, Michael Winner, who died in January.

Winner's widow Geraldine Winner will also speak at the memorial along with Met Commissioner Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe.

Read: Director and food critic Michael Winner dies aged 77

Michael Winner's funeral was 'perfect, darling, perfect'

The funeral has taken place of film director Michael Winner, who died on Monday after a long battle with liver disease.

Michael Winner pictured in 2008
Michael Winner pictured in 2008 Credit: Press Association

Sir Michael Parkinson and former Rolling Stone Bill Wyman were among the mourners who paid their final respects in north London.

A statement, issued by Michael Winner's office said if he had been alive to film it, he would have said: "Perfect, darling, perfect. A cold wind whipped a flurry of snowflakes across the cemetery - a film directors' dream."

Among the mourners were many of Michael's friends including Sir David Frost, Terry O'Neill, Don Black, Chris Rea and Henry Wyndham, chairman of Sotheby's.

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AA Gill: Michael Winner was 'immensely generous'

AA Gill
AA Gill Credit: Channel 4 News

Sunday Times restaurant critic AA Gill has paid tribute to his colleague Michael Winner, saying he was "immensely generous."

Gill said: "He had immensely loyal friends, and was very good in company.

"He was a natural as a restaurant critic, not because he knew a lot about food, but he did know about the business of hospitality, sitting around a table, telling stories.

"He was very good at what he did."

Simon Cowell: 'Michael Winner was a very good friend'

TV mogul Simon Cowell has paid tribute to Michael Winner, saying that "laughter was never far away" when Winner was around.

He said:

I'm very sad to hear about Michael passing away. He's become a very good friend over the years and someone whose company I have always really enjoyed.

Laughter was never far away when Michael was around and he is someone who the more I got to know, the fonder I got of him. I am sure there are a lot of other people who, like me, will really miss him.

– Simon Cowell
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