Les Dennis facts: TV presenter's age, wife, children and career explained

11 September 2023, 15:20 | Updated: 12 September 2023, 11:31

Les Dennis in 2023
Les Dennis in 2023. Picture: Getty

By Tom Owen

Les Dennis has been ever-present on British TV since the 1970s.

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He started his career as a stand-up comedian in social clubs in the northwest of England, and won the ITV talent show New Faces in 1974.

He then appeared on various light entertainment shows, and formed a successful comedy partnership with fellow impressionist Dustin Gee. They starred in their own series, The Laughter Show, until Gee’s sudden death in 1986.

Les Dennis continued The Laughter Show as a solo performer, and also became the third host of the game show Family Fortunes, which he presented for 15 years from 1987 to 2002.

He also appeared on several other TV shows, such as This Is Your Life and Celebrity Big Brother. He has also acted in various dramas and comedies, such as Coronation Street, Life’s Too Short, Extras, and Hairspray.

In 2023, he will be showing off his dance moves in the latest series of Strictly Come Dancing.

  1. How old is Les Dennis?

    The Les Dennis Laughter Show in 1988
    The Les Dennis Laughter Show in 1988. Picture: Getty

    Les Dennis was born on October 12, 1954 in Liverpool, England. He celebrated his 69th birthday in 2022.

    His parents were Leslie Heseltine and Winnie Grimes. His father worked in a betting shop after serving in the Royal Navy during the Second World War, and his mother worked in a factory. They both passed away when Les was young.

  2. How did Les Dennis get his start in comedy?

    Family Fortunes - Les Dennis is surprised by Michael Aspel and This Is Your Life.

    Les Dennis got his start in comedy as a stand-up comedian in working men’s clubs in the northwest of England.

    He was given his earliest opportunities in his home city of Liverpool by husband-and-wife theatrical agents Stuart and Dorene Gillespie, who had themselves been a successful variety act.

    He made his debut radio broadcast in 1971 on Stuart’s BBC Radio Merseyside series Variety Time, which was taped in front of a live audience in Merseyside clubs.

    He then won the ITV talent show New Faces in 1974, which gave him more exposure and led to appearances on various light entertainment shows.

  3. How many times has Les Dennis been married and does he have children?

    Amanda Holden and Les Dennis in 2000
    Amanda Holden and Les Dennis in 2000. Picture: Getty

    Les Dennis has been married three times and has three children.

    His first wife was Lynne Webster, whom he married in 1974 and divorced in 1990. They had a son named Philip.

    His second wife was Amanda Holden, whom he married in 1995 and divorced in 2003. They had no children together. She had a high-profile affair with Neil Morrissey during their marriage.

    His current wife is Claire Nicholson, whom he married in 2009. They have a daughter named Eleanor Grace, born in 2008, and a son named Thomas Christopher, born in 2011.

    Les Dennis with wife Claire in 2016
    Les Dennis with wife Claire in 2016. Picture: Getty