Inside Les Dennis’ marriage to Amanda Holden – From 18-year age-gap to affair

Les Dennis will make his Strictly Come Dancing debut this weekend as the 21st series of the BBC show is due to kick off on Saturday.

The 69-year-old is potentially best known for his time at the helm of Family Fortunes (1987-2002) and for coming runner-up to Take That’s Mark Owen on Celebrity Big Brother in 2002.

Elsewhere, long-term fans of the personality may be aware that he was also once in a relationship with Britain’s Got Talent judge Amanda Holden.

The pair were married between the years 1995 and 2003 and eventually split after Amanda’s high-profile affair with fellow actor Neil Morrissey was exposed.

However, flashback to 1993 where Les and his ex-wife first met after being cast in a production of The Sound of Music at Bournemouth’s Pavilion Theatre. At the time, it was reported that Les was 40 while Amanda was 18 years his junior at 22.

Read more BBC slammed by ex Strictly stars after ‘dropped’ pro dancers can’t return

Two years after meeting on the set of the musical, the former couple announced that they had officially tied the knot in a lavish ceremony.

The 1995 wedding was covered by Hello! magazine and saw the Heart Radio presenter donning a white, billowing satin gown to celebrate the special day.

The dress featured a deep, square neckline and was accessorised with long, white gloves and a sparkly tiara which was placed in her retro beehive updo.

Her new husband, Les, had opted to wear a deep blue two-piece suit for the ceremony, which he paired with a paisley cream waistcoat and a white pointed-collar shirt.

Five years into their marriage, however, it was reported that the couple had split after it was revealed that Amanda had been having an affair with Waterloo Road actor, Neil Morrissey.

The two hit it off while working on the BBC film, Happy Birthday Shakespeare in 2000.

13 years after the affair, the 52-year-old actor told Good Housekeeping that women don’t “have affairs for no reason”.

“Neil rightly or wrongly got loads of stick. I feel like it was my fault – I was the one who was married.

“I want to change the general perception of him, as he was very caring and very loving and very worried about me because I lost so much weight. He used to cook for me and look after me and babysit the dogs.”

Amanda also discussed how Les “ironically” became her saviour during the time that the affair went public with the Daily Mail.

We use your sign-up to provide content in ways you’ve consented to and to improve our understanding of you. This may include adverts from us and 3rd parties based on our understanding. You can unsubscribe at any time. More info

Don’t miss…
Ben Shephard swipes Kate Garraway’s ‘quite hot’ book cover is a body double[PICTURES]
Strictly’s Krishnan Guru-Murthy still abroad as unprepared star addresses regret[VIDEO]
Where the original Strictly pros are now – From on-air row to romance breakdown[LATEST]

She previously said: “I brought it on myself, I appreciate that, but nothing will ever be as bad again. It was a very dark time.

“It got to the point where I felt I could hardly breathe. Les proved to be my saviour. Ironically.

“So the person I’d hurt the most in the world was the one who was there for me.”

Despite the 2000 affair and a brief split, the ex-couple seemed determined to give their marriage a second go and were back together in 2001.

However, in 2002, the pair confirmed that their relationship was officially over and they were divorced a year later.

In 2014, Neil discussed the part he played in the affair while appearing on an episode of Piers Morgan’s Life Stories.

Speaking about his brief relationship with Amanda, the Line of Duty star said: “I feel sorry for how the situation was dealt with and I feel sorry for how emotional Les seemed to become. It was very difficult for him and for that I’m very sorry.”

When Piers asked why had never previously addressed the affair, Neil replied: “I think enough was said about it. This was a very short fling.

“I didn’t have representation at the time, in terms of PR and this was the first time I’d really come under the cosh.”

20 years later, Les himself finally had his say on the affair and claimed that “all the hurt that has happened has been healed”.

Speaking to The Sunday Times, the new Strictly star said: “Amanda was in the papers recently, saying some nice things about me. That was very kind of her. Maybe with time she has been able to look back and see things differently.”

He added: “We’re not in touch but I am happy that she’s happy. I can watch Britain’s Got Talent without getting angry.

“To be honest it’s like watching a different person, someone I’ve never met. All the hurt that has happened has been healed.”

After divorcing Amanda in 2003, Les has gone on to marry lifestyle coach Claire Nicholson with whom he shares two children – Eleanor Grace and Thomas Christopher.

The former Family Fortunes host is set to make his Strictly Come Dancing debut on Saturday, 16 September via BBC One.

Source: Read Full Article