Director and food critic Michael Winner is to wed his fiancée Geraldine Lynton-Edwards on Monday – over 50 years after their on-again, off-again romance began.

The couple first met in 1957 when he was a 21-year-old filmmaker and she was a 16-year-old actress and dancer who had a role in his short film The Square.

Winner said: "You could say this is the longest courtship in the history of the world.

"We have been together for nine years and engaged for four years, so it's the right and proper thing to do.

"And, of course, I love her."

Of his decision to settle down, Winner said: "I was dedicated to making love to every girl I saw. Married or not.

"If they were married, I just said to them 'Tell your husband I'm gay', so for a long time I had a reputation for being gay.

"But there comes a time when you realise it really is unnecessary to do that [womanising] until the day you die, if anyone is even capable of it.

"They were very nice, but that's gone."

Asked whether his bride-to-be was worried about his former womanising ways, Winner replied: "She didn't expect at this age of life to marry a virgin."

Paying tribute to Lynton-Edwards, he said: "She has a wonderful youthful spirit. We have many shared experiences, because we started being lovers in 1957, and have had an on-off relationship since then.

"She has been absolutely wonderful to me, particularly when I was seriously ill."

He continued: "What I hope for in married life is that the situation between us stays exactly the same.

"I want it to carry on as it is, because it's been more than pleasant.

"She has to take my name, legally, but I would rather she decided to use her name, because it's far posher."

Their marriage at Chelsea Town Hall on Monday will be witnessed by actor Michael Caine and his wife Shakira and the couple will then lunch with the Caines and other close friends including David Frost, Chris Rea, Terry O'Neill and Andrew Lloyd-Webber before honeymooning in Italy.