Michael Caine shuns luxury items out of respect for poorer families

The Get Carter star grew up in poverty in London before striking it rich thanks to his hugely successful acting career.

But the kind-hearted actor has never forgotten his roots and reveals he has turned his back on a number of luxury items, even swapping a gold Rolex watch for a plastic timepiece, because he thinks it sends the wrong message during the financial downturn.

He tells Britain’s The People newspaper, “I used to drive a Rolls (Royce) and all that but they were just too ostentatious for this world now. I had to get rid of them. It didn’t feel right to be all showy when there are people scraping and scrimping to feed their loved ones. I just get driven around in a Lexus which you wouldn’t look at twice – it’s just grey. I still have the Rolex but I leave that in a drawer and wear this cheap black plastic one instead. It does the job.

“I’m very fortunate I live in fantastic luxury but it doesn’t mean I should forget where I come from. I’ve seen both sides – rich and poor. That’s why all that bling has gone. I don’t need all that.”