Scarborough ice cream boss pays tribute to Winner

Sir Alan Ayckbourn, left, with film director Michael Winner while filming Ayckbourn's play A Chorus of Disapproval, in Scarborough in 1988.
Sir Alan Ayckbourn, left, with film director Michael Winner while filming Ayckbourn's play A Chorus of Disapproval, in Scarborough in 1988.
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The owner of Scarborough’s iconic ice cream parlour has paid tribute to film director and restaurant critic Michael Winner who died on Monday.

Mr Winner was a regular customer at Alonzi’s Harbour Bar in 1988 while he was filming an adaptation of Sir Alan Aykbourn’s A Chorus of Disapproval in the town.

Despite the movie being panned by critics, it brought a raft of stars to Scarborough, including Anthony Hopkins, Jeremy Irons and Prunella Scales.

Giulian Alonzi said: “I got to know Michael Winner quite well when he was filming the play. He was an ice cream lover and he loved our ice cream. He said a lot of nice things about us in his Sunday Times column, which we appreciated and he did get in touch from time to time.”

Mr Alonzi recalled the director staying at the Royal Hotel and sending down a silver bowl to the Harbour Bar, which would then be filled with ice cream and returned to him.

He said: “He particularly liked banana ice cream and we used to make him a special version, which he liked. I was sorry to hear the news as he was a real character. There’s another character gone.”

Mr Winner, who made more than 30 films including the blockbuster Death Wish series, died at his home in Kensington, London. He was being nursed by wife Geraldine following a lengthy battle with liver disease.