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Dale's turned his back on his family... there wasn't ONE relative on his This Is Your Life.

THE heartbroken aunt of TV star Dale Winton broke down in tears last night as she told how he has turned his back on his proud family.

Sad Lorraine Patrick said Lottery host Dale, 44, hasn't spoken to any of his close relatives since hitting the big time four years ago.

And she revealed how she and husband Joe were stunned to see Dale being honoured on TV's This Is Your Life last month - without a single family member in the audience.

Lorraine, 43, said: "We were shocked that we weren't invited on the show or even told about it.

"We are Dale's only surviving relatives but we weren't there and we didn't even get a mention.

"We are upset that he has forgotten us and puzzled as to why.

"He only has one auntie, two uncles and a few cousins but none of us was invited on the programme. Instead it was full of celebrities who've only known him for a couple of years."

Lorraine's husband Joe, 53, and his brother Norman are Dale's last remaining blood link with his beloved late mum Sheree.

They have repeatedly tried to get in touch with their nephew but have not had a letter or phone call since 1995 and are "puzzled and dismayed" by his rejection. There was no row or big bust-up which could have caused the rift. Dale simply stopped talking to them. Lorraine said that the This Is Your Life snub was particularly hurtful for the family.

Neither Dale's aides nor the show's producers ever contacted them about the programme - and the first they knew of it was when they turned on the TV and saw him being presented with Michael Aspel's big red book.

The seats next to Dale - usually reserved for close family members - were filled by his agent Jan Kennedy and producer Mark Lindsay.

Stars including Cilla Black, Martine McCutcheon and Anthea Turner recorded glowing tributes.

EastEnders Adam Woodyatt and Wendy Richards and Sunburn star Michelle Collins filled the front row seats and the only links to Dale's past were a handful of friends and colleagues who knew him before he was famous.

Even the show's finale - usually reserved for a close relative's surprise appearance - was filled by his two godsons, Mark Lindsay's children.

Lorraine said: "We couldn't believe it. We were watching the other side and when we changed channels there was Dale on This Is Your Life.

"It was quite a shock because none of us had been invited. We have no idea why. We couldn't understand because you are supposed to have your family on that show. We tried getting hold of Dale. I rang the number I had for him but he has moved since then. We did try to get in touch with him again but we've had no success. It's four years since we had any contact with him.

"We are upset about that because we think a lot about Dale. I don't know whether Dale is upset with us. I have no idea.

"We haven't had as much as a phone call or a Christmas card from him in all those years."

Uncles Joe and Norman were a big support to Dale when his beloved mum Sheree - dubbed the British Jayne Mansfield - died of an overdose in 1976 after battling for years with depression.

Close pal Barbara Windsor spoke movingly of Sheree on the show.

But Joe and Norman - Dale's last remaining blood link with his mum - were not even invited to see him accept the famous red book.

Sheree had divorced his father Gary a few years before her death. And Dale has admitted he deliberately severed all ties with his dad's family.

They got back in touch when he became famous but he refused to reply because they had not been there for him when his mother died. But that was not the case with Sheree's side of the family, who shared his grief over her death.

They kept in close touch and proudly watched his blossoming career. When they last saw him in 1995 he had risen from local radio to TVand had become a star on the game show Supermarket Sweep.

His lifestyle changed accordingly - and he was able to buy a posh pounds 50,000 Jaguar XK8 sports car and an expensive apartment in Hampstead, North London.

Invites started arriving for the best showbiz parties and Dale soon had a close circle of celebrity pals.

His lifestyle is in sharp contrast to his aunt and uncle who live in a run-down part of Sheffield and drive a 10-year-old Vauxhall.

But Lorraine said Dale was never one to put on any airs and graces which is what makes his refusal to get in touch all the more puzzling. She said: "We don't know why this has happened at all. There wasn't a family row or anything, Dale just hasn't been in contact.

"One of the last times we saw him in 1995 he invited us down to the set of Supermarket Sweep. He hasn't spoken to Joe or his uncle Norman or any of his cousins since then.

"We would still like to be a close family because there's no ill-will on our part - we think the world of Dale. There were no arguments, no family problems. He used to come and visit us.

"I don't want to say he's had nothing to do with us since he's been a big star but we just don't know what happened.

"He used to be brilliant when he came up to visit, but we've just not seen him or heard from him for four years.

"When my mother-in-law died - Dale's grandma Elizabeth - he cut contact with us.

"I rang him up to tell him his grandma had passed away. I broke the news to him. Her funeral was the very last time we saw him.

"After that, I rang him twice and left messages on his answer phone and we've not heard anything. He never returned our calls."

Lorraine said that Dale's family are hoping that he has just been too busy to contact them and will be on the phone again one day soon. She said: "We would all really like to hear from him again and are just wondering what has happened.

"If there had been an argument or something we could understand it. I wish we could find out why."

Dale said last night: "I love my family and am grateful that through the years they have been supportive and understanding of the pressures of my career. I hope to see them again soon."

The star's spokesman added: "Dale had no idea that This Is Your Life was happening and so it wasn't his decision to keep his family off the show."



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Author:O'brien, Sean; Jarvis, Mike
Publication:The People (London, England)
Date:Feb 6, 2000
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