Dale Winton: Tributes paid to ‘generous soul’ and ‘perfect host’
Londoner started out as club DJ before getting big break as ‘Supermarket Sweep’ presenter
Tributes have been paid to TV presenter Dale Winton who has died at the age of 62. The Supermarket Sweep star died at his home on Wednesday.
His long-term agent Jan Kennedy said in a statement: “It is with great sadness that we can confirm the passing of Dale Winton who died at home earlier today.
“While we know many will share this terrible loss, we ask that you respect the family’s privacy at this time of grief.”
No further details were announced.
Winton was born in Marylebone, London, in May 1955 to Gary and Sheree, an actress.
His parents divorced when he was 10 and his father died three years later on Winton’s bar mitzvah.
Just days after he turned 21, Winton discovered his mother, who he adored, had died after taking an overdose.
His career in showbusiness began when he worked as a DJ on the London club scene before he moved into work in radio and television.
Dale Winton gave me the best bit of showbiz advice I ever got - Don’t quit the hit! Thank you Dale. X— graham norton (@grahnort) April 18, 2018
I am so so so sad to hear about Dale Winton 💔 a lovely, warm, kind, sensitive, generous soul with a touch of naughty ! RIP 🙏🏻— Davina McCall (@ThisisDavina) April 18, 2018
His big break came with Supermarket Sweep, which saw contestants racing around a supermarket collecting items.
He hosted the show from 1993 to 2001, and was involved in a 2007 reboot.
From there, Winton moved onto prime-time shows including The National Lottery’s In It To Win It and went onto host his own Christmas specials as well as celebrity guest shows.
In his 2002 autobiography he came out as gay.
In recent years the once prolific star disappeared from TV screens and in an interview earlier this year he claimed he was keeping a low profile after undergoing several rounds of surgery.
In 2015 he sparked concern after failing to attend the funeral of Cilla Black, who was one of his closest friends.
A year later, he appeared on TV’s Loose Women and revealed he had been secretly battling depression after going through a difficult break up.
He told the show: “I should have taken myself off the TV but I didn’t. Listen, there are worse things in the world — but I had depression and I didn’t realise.
“I always thought, ‘get over yourself’. But my mum died of it. It exists and anybody out there who has had it knows it exists. I didn’t want to put one foot in front of the other but for a couple of really good friends.”
TV presenter Graham Norton said on Twitter “Dale Winton gave me the best bit of showbiz advice I ever got - Don’t quit the hit! Thank you Dale. X”
TV presenter Davina McCall described Winton “as a generous soul”. McCall said on Twitter: “I am so so so sad to hear about Dale Winton a lovely, warm, kind, sensitive, generous soul with a touch of naughty! RIP.”
Other celebrities who posted messages expressing their condolences included Boy George, Duncan Bannatyne, Antony Costa and Sherrie Hewson. Singer Boy George said he was “shocked”, posting a message on Twitter saying Winton “was a sweet man”.
TV personality Les Dennis said Winton was a “lovely, warm man who posed charm”. Michael Ball said: “So sad to hear that the true gentleman, the charming and so kind Dale Winton has been taken from us far to soon. “RIP lovely man. Xx.”
TV star Paddy McGuinness said Winton was “the perfect host”. “Sad news,” he said on Twitter. “Back in the day Supermarket Sweep was the programme to watch. “Dale Winton was the perfect host, he made it all look effortless. RIP.”
Earlier this year Winton was back on oTV screens, hosting Dale Winton’s Florida Fly Drive on Channel 5.
However, only one episode aired in February after the network decided not to show the remainder of the series following the shooting at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.The other episodes were due to air in June, Channel 5 said. – PA