Michael Winner's young entrepreneurial streak

Michael Robert Winner was born on October 30 1935, the only child of a couple of Russian emigre stock. His father was a millionaire property developer and his mother, as colourful a character as himself, was an inveterate gambler who lost millions in the casinos in Cannes.

Michael Winner has died, aged 77
Michael Winner has died, aged 77 Credit: Press Association

At the age of 13, the young Winner was already showing an entrepreneurial streak. He started to write a showbusiness column called Michael Winner's Show Talk, syndicated to 35 local papers.

He attended St Christopher's School, Letchworth, and was asked to leave because he was paying another boy to clean his room. He avoided National Service by pretending to be gay.

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Winner's 'perfect' funeral

Sir David Frost and Sir Michael Parkinson were amongst those at the funeral of film director and restaurant critic Michael Winner. His office said: "If Michael had been alive to film it, he would have said, 'Perfect, darling, perfect'."