CUT! Michael Winner, the director and producer, is wrapping up his weekly Sunday Times restaurant column.
The 77-year-old, whose films include the Death Wish series and Hannibal Brooks, has never failed to file the copy for Winner’s Dinners in 19 years despite holidays and illness, but he says this weekend’s offering will be his last.
He took the decision at the behest of his wife, Geraldine, because of his recent poor health, which has put him in hospital eight times during the past seven months. She put her foot down after he contracted norovirus just over a week ago. “You’re dealing with someone who’s got such a terrific, enormous personality, but it’s time for a bit more rest. Enough is enough,” she said yesterday. However, Winner has left himself room for an encore.
Earlier this year he refused to stay in hospital after having three litres of fluid drained from his lung. “He wouldn’t stay in hospital. First you’re cross, then exasperated, then panicky … you go through all those stages,” she said.
Winner — who describes himself on Twitter as “a totally insane film director, writer, producer, silk shirt cleaner, bad-tempered, totally ridiculous example of humanity in deep shit” — has signed off his column with a cliffhanger worthy of the silver screen.
He began writing Winner’s Dinners in 1993 and he hopes that despite his illness and his wife’s instructions, he can resume it. “Who knows,” he writes today, “after Christmas I might make a comeback. How many times did Sinatra do it?” Winner’s dinners, News Review, page 12