Michael Winner: A life in quotes

 

Film director and food critic Michael Winner died today aged 77. Here is a selection of his most memorable quotes:

On the UK above Watford: "The north is not a place I frequently go to, it is an alien country, it is another land, but it is beautiful. The people are very nice but they provide food that is absolutely pathetic and they are incapable of cooking. So where I am going does not totally thrill me."

On directing: "A team effort is a lot of people doing what I say."

Describing the Victorian mansion he has bequeathed to the nation: "It was once the home of a Victorian artist called Sir Luke Fildes, and was built a well-known domestic architect, Richard Norman Shaw. Where Fildes's studio was is now my bedroom. Edward VII called it one of the finest rooms in London. The house is already on tours of London's most important Victorian buildings - I often see 20 or 30 people outside, with someone talking, probably a load of drivel, outside the front gates."

On the likeness between men and dogs: "I think it's rather an insult to dogs. Men are awful: arrogant, nasty creatures."

On being a bachelor: "I've had 130 lovers so I've had a good run. Geraldine makes up for all of them."

On his soon-to-be-wife  Geraldine in 2007: "I'm not sure when we will get married. I acquired a fiancee. I said, "Geraldine, darling, it's taken me 71 years to get a fiancee - so don't hold your breath for the wedding!"

Esure car insurance advert: "Calm down, dear! It's a commercial."

On David Cameron's 'Calm down, dear' remark to MP Angela Eagle: "If Labour can't realise when something is a bit of fun, they really should pack up and go home. To call someone 'dear' is not sexist unless to politically correct lunatics."

On himself: "During the Sixties, the Americans thought I was the greatest thing in the history of cinema."

Also on himself: "I do not lurk. I ponce about, cause trouble, bring light and happiness to the world and generally behave with impeccable (if misplaced) self-assurance."

On eating: "Success has gone to my stomach".

Filming: "The hardest part of directing is staying awake for nine weeks at a stretch."

On the Queen's honours list: "An OBE is what you get if you clean the toilets well at King's Cross station. I really don't care if I get anything or not. I'm very glad that they recognize my considerable skills as a toilet cleaner. But when you look at the rubbish who are getting these awards and the absolute non-service they have given to the nation other than financing or working for political parties, you say, 'What company am I in?' At least if you go straight to the House of Lords you can wear fancy dress and have a giggle."

On art: "If you want art, don't mess about with movies. Buy a Picasso."

On children: "Children should not be allowed to go on holiday. They scream, they shout, they yell. All children should be locked up until the age of 10 and only selected ones should be let out when they are 10."

On a Christmas card photo of himself with the Queen: "A little vulgarity is a thoroughly good thing."

On the right to die: "People should have the right to terminate their own life. I am very happy to snuff it. I've had enough time on earth. I'd be happy if someone gave me the plug to pull."

Quotes from others about Michael Winner:

Michael Caine:  “I am here to tell everybody, Michael, you are a complete and utter fraud. You come on like this bombastic, ill-tempered monster. It’s not the side of you I see. I see a man who has a tremendous artistic eye. You have an incredible legal brain. Before I even go to my own lawyer I talk to you first. You’re extremely funny, very sensitive, very kind and very generous. I hope everyone believes me when I say that you are a kind and wonderful person. And I’m not kidding.”

John Cleese: "He was the dearest, kindest, funniest and most generous of friends. I shall miss him terribly."

Piers Morgan: "Very sad to hear Michael Winner has died. Hilarious, often proposterous, always generous, highly intelligent man. And terrific writer. RIP."

Andrew Lloyd Webber: "True originals come rarely in a lifetime. Madeleine and I will deeply miss you. ALW"

Terry O'Neill: "He was totally against marriage but we all talked him into it and thank goodness we did.

Arts and Entertainment

Filming to begin on two new series due to be aired on Dave from next year

TV

Arts and Entertainment
Kit Harington plays MI5 agent Will Holloway in Spooks: The Greater Good

'You can't count on anyone making it out alive'film
Arts and Entertainment
War veteran and father of Peter and Laust Thoger Jensen played by Lars Mikkelson

TVBBC hopes latest Danish import will spell success

Arts and Entertainment
Carey Mulligan in Far From The Madding Crowd
FilmCarey Mulligan’s Bathsheba would fit in better in The Hunger Games
Arts and Entertainment
Pandas-on-heat: Mary Ramsden's contribution is intended to evoke the compound the beasts smear around their habitat
Iart'm Here But You've Gone exhibition has invited artists to produce perfumes
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

ebooks
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

    Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

    Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
    Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

    Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

    Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
    China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

    China's influence on fashion

    At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
    Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

    The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

    Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
    Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

    Rainbow shades

    It's all bright on the night
    'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

    Bread from heaven

    Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
    Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

    How 'the Axe' helped Labour

    UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
    Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

    The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

    A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
    Welcome to the world of Megagames

    Welcome to the world of Megagames

    300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
    'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

    Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

    Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
    Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

    Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

    The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
    Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

    Vince Cable exclusive interview

    Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
    Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

    Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

    Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
    Russell Brand's interview with Ed Miliband has got everyone talking about The Trews

    Everyone is talking about The Trews

    Russell Brand's 'true news' videos attract millions of viewers. But today's 'Milibrand' interview introduced his resolutely amateurish style to a whole new crowd
    Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

    It's time for my close-up

    Meet the man who films great whites for a living