Paul O’Grady has remembered his friend Dale Winton, saying “he didn’t have a bad bone in his body”.
The 62-year-old TV presenter said the Supermarket Sweep star, his friend of many years, will be missed by many.
He wrote in the Daily Mirror: “When I think of Dale, I think of Mr Showbiz. Out there, giving it all, with a big smile and the tan.”
He recalled meeting Dale for the first time while preparing for a benefit in the West End, when the star had just started doing Supermarket Sweep.
“All he had to do was walk a shopping trolley along the stage – but he was a bag of nerves,” wrote Paul.
“Encouraging him, I said ‘I’ve got to go out there and do a really tricky song with an actor I don’t know and you’re worried about wheeling a bloody shopping trolley!’ I said I’d swap with him any day.”
Paul also remembered that Dale made sure Cilla Black was in bed early, while Paul would go out partying, when the pair spent time together 20 years ago.
“It was a joke between the three of us – he was Nurse Winton and I was Nurse Savage,” he said.
Paul’s comments came after Steve Allen paid a tearful tribute on Thursday’s LBC show to his friend of almost 50 years.
“I was as shocked as everyone else to hear the news that Dale had passed on,” he said.
The broadcaster added: “He didn’t like the ageing process, he hated it. He used to say to me ‘I’ve had enough’.”
He said: “I don’t think he’d been in a good place for a long, long time.”
Dale died on Wednesday aged 62. His agent, Jan Kennedy, said in a statement to the Press Association on Wednesday: “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.
Dale had moved to Totteridge in north London about three weeks ago, neighbours said, from a flat next to Regent’s Park.
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Scotland Yard said the star’s death was being treated as unexplained but not suspicious.
In a statement, the police said: “The death remains unexplained although at this early stage the police are not treating it as suspicious.
“A post-mortem examination will be scheduled in due course. Enquiries into the circumstances by officers from Barnet continue.”
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