Bachelor-about-town Michael Winner sets wedding date at 75

 

He's had more than 130 lovers and admits to being unfaithful to them all. But Michael Winner is to end his reign as Britain's most confirmed bachelor by finally marrying, at the age of 75.

The film director and food critic will marry Geraldine Lynton-Edwards, his fiancée and on-off girlfriend of 40 years. Ms Lynton-Edwards, 70, a pilates instructor who nursed Winner back to health after he contracted a flesh-eating bug, has waited patiently for the director to set a date. They met in 1957 when she auditioned for a role in his debut film.

They got engaged in 2007 but Winner told her: "Don't hold your breath for marriage." Yesterday he announced via Twitter: "Geraldine & I visited Registrar at Chelsea town hall to put the bans. Getting married mid Sept."

He told The Independent: "Michael and Shakira Caine are going to be the witnesses. Michael said he was afraid I'd do a runner if he didn't witness the marriage himself. I've had 130 lovers so I've had a good run. Geraldine makes up for all of them."

Winner, whose past amours include the actresses Jenny Seagrove and Jill Ireland, continued: "I've never been remotely close to marriage before. I didn't believe a marriage would be successful."

His resistance was worn down by Ms Lynton-Edwards, who shares his 47-room Holland Park mansion and has learnt how to handle the notoriously bloody-minded Winner. "She has all the qualities I lack," he said. "I always thought I would get married when I found someone who was absolutely marvellous. Geraldine looked after me throughout my terrible illness. We've been together years and we've known each other for decades. It's the best thing to do."

It wasn't the most romantic of proposals. "Michael [Caine] said if I got down on one knee I'd never get up. It just suddenly happened, after nine years together. We had a conversation and that was it. It was something she wanted and I wanted."

The couple met when Winner was working on his short film The Square. Geraldine was 16, an aspiring actress. "She came to audition on the first film I ever made. She got the role but the dodgy bit is she also got me. We didn't actually get together for years."

They enjoyed an on-off relationship from the 60s onwards but became a permanent fixture only in 2002 when Winner saw her and thought: "She looks bloody good." In 2007, Geraldine devoted herself to caring for Winner after he contracted a rare bacterial illness from oysters on holiday in Barbados, which required 11 life-saving operations. The former ballet dancer weaned him off champagne, cigars and rich food and on to a strict exercise regime. Winner claims he would be dead without her.

The Chelsea wedding next month will be a low-key affair with just a few close friends. The Winners will honeymoon in Portofino.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
PROMOTED VIDEO
ebooks
ebooksA year of political gossip, levity and intrigue from the sharpest pen in Westminster
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

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

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs People

Recruitment Genius: HR Manager

£25000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They are in need of a HR Manage...

h2 Recruit Ltd: Business Development Manager - HR Consultancy - £65,000 OTE

£35000 - £40000 per annum + £65,000 OTE: h2 Recruit Ltd: London, Birmingham, M...

Day In a Page

Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there