Gloria Hunniford said she will always remember Dale Winton’s ‘tan and his humour’ at the late TV presenter’s star-studded funeral.
Ms Hunniford joined famous faces including David Walliams, Anthea Turner, Martine McCutcheon and Matt Lucas for the funeral, which saw comic Jon Culshaw perform a hilarious Winton impression.
Winton’s friend Dame Barbara Windsor could not be at the service, after it emerged she has Alzheimer’s, but mutual friend Christopher Biggins said she ‘would have been here if she could’.
Mr Biggins said: ‘She’s got Alzheimer’s and she gets confused, and I think it would have been too confusing today, but I know her thoughts and love will be with him and all of his family, and everybody.’.
Supermarket Sweep star Winton died in April and was laid to rest following a ‘non-religious’ service at a church in centralLondon today, on what would have been his 63rd birthday.
An order of service for the funeral, held at One Marylebone, reveals that Walliams gave a reading, as well as former EastEnders star McCutcheon. Winton’s godsons Josh, Ben and Louis Linsey also gave a tribute.
Mr Winton’s white coffin, covered with a beautiful large display of white roses, was carried from a hearse into the venue, followed by members of his family.
The coffin of TV presenter Dale Winton, who was found dead at his home in north London last month, is carried into a memorial service in his memory this afternoon
David Walliams gave a reading at the service, as well as former EastEnders star Martine McCutcheon
Comedian David Walliams and TV presenter Anthea Turner were among the celebrities at a service in memory of Dale Winton
Martine McCutcheon read What Should Life Be? at the service. Vanessa Feltz (right) arrived with her partner Ben Ofoedu
Gaby Roslin was among the host of famous faces at the funeral, at which Jon Culshaw did an impression of Winton
Comedian Matt Lucas was also at the service, as well as Piers Morgan. Dale regularly appeared on Matt Lucas’ BBC comedy show Come Fly with Me
Gloria Hunniford was among the celebrities at a ‘non-religious’ humanist memorial service for TV legend Dale Winton today
Claire Sweeney and the boy band Blue both performed, while comedian Jon Culshaw also gave a tribute.
Blue performed their hit, One Love, while Ms Sweeney sang Alfie, recorded by Cilla Black in 1965, and Going Back by Dusty Springfield.
Walliams, a close friend of Winton’s, read If You Go, also recorded by Springfield, while McCutcheon read What Should Life Be?
Comic and impressionist Jon Culshaw said there was ‘a great sense of celebration’ in the service, during which he gave a reading while doing an impression of Winton.
He told the Press Association: ‘I was asked to speak, and to have sections where I would take on Dale’s voice, and at first I said, “are you sure?” And his friends and family said, “yes, of course – to hear his voice, that’s really what we want”.
‘So I wrote a verse and there were certain moments in it where I could do that, where it felt like a natural way to do it.’
Culshaw added that he will remember Winton for his ‘generosity, his warmth and his wit’.
‘When he appeared, there was no denying it, everybody was happier instantly. Everybody would smile hugely, and he made that happen by just being there. It was just like magic, I always describe it as like turning on the lights, and what a light.’
Comedian Matt Lucas is seen leaving the service while Martine McCutcheon hugs another mourner after the service
Lee Ryan, Anthony Costa and Duncan James from the boyband Blue leave the service after performing to the congregation
David Walliams hugs another mourner as celebrities leave the funeral of Dale Winton in central London this afternoon
David Walliams and other mourners leave the church in Marylebone this afternoon. Guests said it was ‘a good send-off’
Matt Lucas leaves the service this afternoon, at which Winton’s close friend Dame Barbara Windsor could not be present
After the funeral, Piers Morgan said the service was ‘incredibly moving’ and that it was what the late TV presenter ‘would have wanted’.
Morgan said: ‘I think Dale would have loved it. There were some lovely musical performances, Blue were great and Claire Sweeney, and all the addresses – there were a lot of them – they were all very different and very moving.’
The Good Morning Britain host said a reading by Winton’s three godsons ‘brought a tear to everyone’s eye’.
Morgan said he shed a tear when the godsons were talking, adding: ‘I’ve got three sons who are a little bit older than them and to have that kind of profound effect on boys of that age is quite an unusual thing, and they were all clearly very, very close to him.
‘They got quite emotional, we all got quite emotional – the whole thing was perfectly pitched, beautifully organised, perfect casting, just as Dale would have wanted. And I think he’d have looked down and thought ‘they did me proud’.’
Claire Sweeney – who sang Cilla Black’s classic Alfie – arrived for the service with panto star Christopher Biggins
Duncan James and Simon Webbe were seen arriving. The group Blue performed their hit One Love at the service
Blue’s Antony Costa was seen arriving at the memorial service ahead of his band’s performance of its famous hit
Anthea Turner said the service was ‘the most beautiful hour-and-a-half’ and that ‘Dale was there’. She added, of Winton: ‘He would have been chuffed to have seen us all there.
‘It was very emotional, but it was beautifully produced and polished. You wouldn’t normally say that but in this instance it’s worth saying, and the people who put it together did the most magnificent job.
‘I’m truly glad I was there.’
Turner joked that Winton would have perhaps liked there to be ‘more champagne’ at the service, but that ‘he would have been very pleased’.
Gloria Hunniford said that she will always remember Winton for ‘that tan, of course’, as well as his ‘humour, because he was always very bright’.
Speaking after the funeral, she said it was ‘a really sad day, but a really bright, sunny day that he would have loved’.
Veteran radio DJ Tony Blackburn and journalist Garry Bushell joined other famous faces at the ceremony today
Left: Journalist-turned-TV presenter Matthew Wright. Right: Former football star Greame Souness
Former football player and manager Greame Souness – who struck up an unlikely friendship with Dale – was at the ceremony
Ms Hunniford said she felt particularly sad when she saw the coffin leaving the church, adding: ‘You sort of instinctively want to go and touch the coffin, or say something, but you can’t break out of that set-up.’
She said: ‘A lot of people paid their respects. I think, when you get a shock when somebody dies suddenly and they are so young, the first thing you feel is, oh gosh I never got to say goodbye.
‘And that’s why today was very special. We all got a chance, in our own ways, to say our own small goodbye to Dale.’
Hunniford said that a reading by Winton’s godsons was ‘utterly superb’, and added: ‘The sentiment was fantastic and you can just tell that, although Dale never had children of his own, that he was really gorgeous to his godchildren and very hands-on, so that was lovely to hear.’
Anthea Turner was among a host of TV stars who attended the Old Church on Marylebone Road this afternoon
Former Eastenders star Martine McCutcheon will read at the service, while Claire Sweeney and boy band Blue will perform
Former Brookside actress Claire Sweeney is among a number of celebrity performers at the ‘non-religious’ ceremony
Tony Blackburn said that the funeral was a ‘good send-off’ for Winton. He said: ‘It was a lovely ceremony, it was really lovely.
‘He was a lovely guy, I knew him very well and it was very sad. He should still be here. I will remember him as being a nice person.
Blackburn added: ‘I went round to his house. Actually, to be honest with you, it’s because of him that I have a projection unit at home. He had a television in practically every room – which I’ve got – but he had a great big projection unit at home, and I went out and bought a better one.
‘And he came around to me and saw I’d got a better one, so he bought another better one. But I’ll always remember him as a very nice guy, very lovely.’
Vanessa Feltz said that Winton was ‘a really adorable person’ as she spoke after the funeral, which she said was a humanist service.
The broadcaster told the Press Association: ‘He was extremely generous and funny and very, very kind. He’s really, properly missed.
‘He had a public persona and a public role and everybody knows about that, but as a friend and a real individual, he was extremely nice and kind, and just a lovely adornment to everyone’s lives.’
Humanist funeral are described as a way of giving a fitting tribute to people who have lived without religion
Winton’s white coffin, covered in a huge display of white roses, was carried into the church by pall-bearers this afternoon
Winton was found dead at his home in north London on April 18. Following his death, Walliams described him as ‘the best company, always outrageous & hilarious’, adding: ‘He adored being in show business & loved meeting fans.’
A beautiful display of white roses was placed on the coffin as it was carried into the church ahead of the memorial service
Mark and Sarah Linsey, friends of Mr Winton, whose friendship he described as ‘one of the richest relationships in my life’
Mr Winton’s family and godsons walked behind the coffin into the church shortly after 1pm this afternoon
Ms Feltz said the service was ‘really very moving, very heartfelt, very beautiful, with those magnificent white flowers on the coffin and in the church’, and that the church was ‘absolutely packed, there wasn’t a seat to be had’.
‘I think he would have loved it, he’d have really enjoyed it,’ she added.
‘There were lots of jokes and lots of funny memories, and the music was all his favourite songs. It was just a shame that he wasn’t there.’
Winton had moved into the house in Totteridge about three weeks before he died, his neighbours said. His death is being treated by Scotland Yard as unexplained but not suspicious.
The North London Coroner’s Office has released a statement on his death, which reads: ‘The investigation into the death of Dale Winton is being undertaken by the North London Coroner’s Service and is awaiting the outcome of further enquiries. An inquest has not been opened at this time.’
The TV personality became a household name with game shows such as Supermarket Sweep and National Lottery show In It To Win It
Supermarket Sweep, which saw contestants run around a mock-up shop collecting shopping items, was a hit in the 1990s and was later revived.
The Supermarket Sweep and National Lottery presenter died aged 62 at his home in north London, two years after he revealed he was battling depression
Speaking after the today’s service, Christopher Biggins said the actress may have found the send-off too difficult
A bouquet of white roses has been laid outside the former residence of Mr Winton, who died last month
In 2016, Winton opened up about his battle with depression, triggered by a break-up.
‘Listen, there are worse things in the world – but I had depression and I didn’t realise,’ he told Loose Women. ‘I had a bad break-up and then I had health issues.’
He revealed he could not meet anyone to spend his life because he spent too much time chasing ‘mean and nasty’ men.
He said: ‘Nobody wants a camp, over 60-year-old man. I can’t go on dating sites. I’m quite well known so the minute you see the picture it’s desperately unattractive to another gay man to find a guy in showbusiness on there’.
He added: ‘It’s time I went from troubled boys to nice guys’.
Ahead of his funeral, Humanists UK organisation confirmed said: ‘We’re very proud to be giving the humanist funeral of a national treasure, Dale Winton.
‘He was loved so much and by so many – and tomorrow his loved ones will be celebrating the life he led and the positive impact he had on their lives.’
From DJ to household name: How Dale Winton – famed for his tan and flamboyant demeanor – rocketed to fame as Supermarket Sweep host to become a nation’s favourite
Dale Winton, the popular gameshow host perhaps best known for Supermarket Sweep, has died at the age of 62.
He was a household name in the mid 1990s and early 2000s while fronting shows such as Supermarket Sweep and The National Lottery : In It To Win It, but had kept a low profile in recent years.
Winton was born in Marylbone, London , in May 1955 to Gary and Sheree, an actress.
Winton became a household name when he appeared in TV game show Supermarket Sweep
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.
His big break came with Supermarket Sweep, which saw contestants racing around a supermarket collecting items.
He went on to present the National Lottery draw, rubbing shoulders with some of showbusiness’s most famous faces
How Dale Winton became close to football hardman Graeme Souness
Dale Winton had an unlikely friendship with Liverpool and Scotland hard man Graeme Sounness and his wife Karen Read
Dale Winton had an unlikely friendship with Liverpool and Scotland hard man Graeme Souness.
The friends met in a London restaurant after Dale flirted with the former footballer’s wife Karen.
Dale shouted across to Mrs Souness ‘You’re gorgeous, you are’ before turning to her husband and saying: ‘And so are you’.
Graeme would later appear on his mockumentary wedding to Nell McAndrew where he was Dale’s best man and organised his stag do.
Later explaining what their relationship was like Dale said: ‘It’s great. People always do a double take when I -camp-as-Christmas Dale – walk into a restaurant with the hard man of football and Karen.
‘Having had so many hard knocks himself in life, Graeme is a brilliant people manager.
‘And because he isn’t in the same business as me he is able to bring a completely fresh perspective to my problems. I love asking him for advice’.
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.
Just days after he turned 21, Winton discovered his mother, who he adored, had died after taking an overdose.
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.’
Earlier this year he was back on our 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.