Supermarket Sweep shot Dale Winton to TV fame
Dale Winton, the popular gameshow host perhaps best known for Supermarket Sweep, has died at the age of 62.
He became 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 Marylebone, London, on May 22 1955 to furniture salesman Gary Winner and Sheree Winton, an actress.
His parents met when his mother was 17 and his father was in his 40s, according to Winton’s 2002 autobiography, My Story.
They married months later and Sheree converted to Judaism, her husband’s religion, and gave birth to her son at the age of 19.
In his book, Winton revealed he was named Dale because his mother was a fan of the cowboy series Tales Of Wells Fargo, which starred Dale Robertson.
Wintons’s parents divorced when he was 10 and his father – with whom he shared a difficult relationship – died three years later on Winton’s bar mitzvah.
Just days after he turned 21, Winton discovered his mother, whom he adored, had died after taking an overdose.
He would later reveal she had suffered from depression, a condition that would return to haunt him years later.
Winton’s career in showbusiness began when he worked as a DJ on the London club scene before he moved into work in radio and television.
He joined BBC Bristol in 1986 but his big break came with Supermarket Sweep, which saw contestants racing around a supermarket collecting items in a bid to win a cash prize.
Winton, famed for his tanned appearance, hosted the show from 1993 to 2001 and was involved in a 2007 reboot.
From Supermarket Sweep, 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.
He was the subject of This Is Your Life in 2001.
In his 2002 autobiography he came out as gay.
Other shows he fronted included 2003’s Celebrity Fit Club on ITV and 2008’s Hole In The Wall, the BBC’s Saturday night entertainment programme.
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 fighting 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 TV, 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.
Winton’s agent confirmed his death on Wednesday at the age of 62, though she did not reveal any further details.