Ain’t gonna be enough trees to produce the paper needed to print the prose about Michael Winner. Some of it his own, the rest from individuals who profess to have known him. Broken bread with him, at least. Count me in.
He’s barely succumbed to mortality when he confessed: “My most publicised affair was with the actress Jenny Seagrove whom I met in 1987. One of the first things that struck me about her was how painfully thin she was.
“Jenny always seemed very nervous and uptight and troubled but there was definitely something about her. Two days later I took her out for dinner. Darling, I said, if we don’t make love tonight, it will be too late.”
You won’t find me among those clinging to his shroud but I, too, can claim to have known Miss Seagrove in person. We’d spent the night – separate rooms, it should go without wittering – at Gleneagles and the morning after we were out shooting close to the hotel.
Thin maybe, but she had problems slipping from wellies into her jeans and asked me, a gentleman, to assist. Swear to God. And Mr Winner was none the wiser.
We’re talking Tubular Bells of course. Income tax did his head in, so Mike Oldfield lives now in the Bahamas. And he’s complaining: “The tax rate was horrendously high in the Seventies and the royalties, especially those from abroad, took years to filter through.
“So even though Tubular Bells was a No 1 album, I had to ask to be put onto the Virgin payroll at £25 a week and to get luncheon vouchers to use in cafeterias for a free lunch.”