Winner turned down OBE, saying it's for 'toilet cleaners'

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Winner, 70, who directed the violent Death Wish films starring Charles Bronson but is now best known for fronting an insurance advert, said he refused the honour because "an OBE is what you get if you clean the toilets at King's Cross station".

The director, who is also a restaurant critic and newspaper columnist, said he had been offered an OBE in the Queen's 80th birthday list for services to the police.

He has campaigned since the shooting of WPC Yvonne Fletcher outside the Libyan embassy in 1984 for a memorial to commemorate police killed in the line of duty.

He told today's The Sunday Times: "I'm very glad that they recognise my considerable skills as a toilet cleaner. But I didn't do my stuff for the police to get anything."

Winner joined the Queen and Tony Blair in April last year at the unveiling of the National Police Memorial, which commemorates the 1,600 officers who have died since the 17th century.

He added: "When you look at some of 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?'".