Strictly's Les Dennis reveals he lost three stone after health scare
Strictly’s Les Dennis, 69, reveals he lost three stone by cutting out takeaways after a terrifying health scare: ‘It was a huge wake-up call’
Les Dennis has revealed he lost three stone after a health scare pushed him to overhaul his diet and lifestyle.
The legendary presenter has been confirmed as the fifteenth and final celebrity contestant for the brand new series of Strictly Come Dancing.
And in a new interview, Les revealed that Strictly has given him a ‘new lease of life’ after a concerning diagnosis forced him to slim down in 2017, after spending weeks gorging on takeaways while on tour with The Addams Family.
He shared that doctors’ warning that he was pre-diabetic was ‘the biggest wake-up call’ as it pushed him to focus on his health.
He said: ‘When you are on tour, you are doing two shows a day and I was playing Uncle Fester. I was wearing make-up and you can’t go out and you order in Deliveroo and you just eat pizza.
Challenge: He has been confirmed as the fifteenth and final celebrity contestant for the brand new series of Strictly Come Dancing
Health scare: Les Dennis, 69, said he was touching ‘under 15 stone, which I knew was too high — I am 5ft 9in — and I’m now able to get into my old clothes’ (pictured in The Adams Family)
‘Wagamama’s was a favourite and it meant that not only was I piling on the pounds, I was not getting any fresh air.
‘So I was relieved in many ways that I got laryngitis because it gave me the biggest wake-up call and made me look at my health.’
Les saw a drastic change in his lifestyle and health since he switched up the booze and bread to getting fresh air and walking 10,000 steps a day.
He said he was touching ‘just under 15 stone, which I knew was too high — I am 5ft 9in — and I’m now able to get into my old clothes.’
The actor has been in showbiz for over 50 years, including famously hosting Family Fortunes for 16 years and starring as Michael Rodwell in Coronation Street from 2014 – 2016.
Les started his career as a comedian on the Working Men’s Club circuit in and around his native Liverpool.
He got his big break on TV Talent show New Faces, and went on to star in sketch and variety show The Laughter Show, forming a double-act with the late Dustin Gee.
His TV career includes roles in Extras, Brookside, Death in Paradise and Midsomer Murders.
Welcome to the stage! He recalled how his 2017 The Addams Family tour was ‘the biggest wake-up call’ as it made him focus on his health when he was struck down by an illness
Old hat: The actor has been in showbiz for over 50 years, including famously hosting Family Fortunes for 16 years from 2014 – 2016 (pictured on the show in 2000)
Soap star: He also played the role Michael Rodwell in Coronation Street from 2014 – 2016 (pictured with co-star Helen Worth)
On stage he’s starred with the Royal Shakespeare Company, the English National Opera, and in hit plays and musicals such as Hairspray, Legally Blonde The Musical and 42nd Street.
Les, who is now happily married to Claire Nicholson, was previously wed to Amanda Holden from 1995 to 2003.
Les shared how hard it had been to keep his involvement in the sparkly show a secret after being unveiled as the final Strictly contestant on Good Morning Britain.
However it hadn’t been plain sailing and admitted to accidentally leaking the news with his Twitter followers last week.
‘Strictly producers ask you to send a play list of songs you might like, my daughter put it together and put Strictly, Les Dennis and had a fat fingers moment and Tweeted it’.
Ex’s: Les, who is now happily married to Claire Nicholson, was previously wed to Amanda Holden from 1995 to 2003
He also revealed that he would be turning 70 during his time on the show before quipping: ‘Only if I make it [to the big day]’.
Les spoke about being apart of the series’ oldest ever cast as he joins 78-year-old Angela Rippon.
Admitting: ‘The whole thing about the age thing, I had a knee replacement but when you get offered things like this it puts a spring in your step’.
Following the announcement he said: ‘I’m thrilled to be doing this iconic wonderful show as I approach my 70th birthday! In my career I’ve always gone for challenges outside my comfort zone and this is the ultimate one! Can’t wait.’
STRICTLY COME DANCING 2023: WHO ARE THE CONTESTANTS?
Angela says: ‘Having been a fan of Strictly since day one, and as a former presenter of Come Dancing, this will be quite an adventure for me. A scary one, considering I’m about to be 79. But I’m looking forward to the challenge, and perhaps being able to learn to dance the Argentine Tango.’
Amanda says: ‘I’m thrilled to have been asked to do Strictly. I’m actually really shy and self-conscious so this will be a great opportunity for me to overcome those things.’
Layton says: ‘Absolutely buzzing to confirm that I will be taking part in THE most iconic dance competition in the UK! It’s time to bring it to the Ballroom. So excited to learn new skills from the best. Bring on the sequins… ALL the sequins!’
Krishnan says: ‘I’m surprised, delighted and slightly confused to find myself taking part in Strictly on the basis of ‘You only live once!’ I can’t wait to start learning to dance, but I am slightly worried about my general decrepitude.’
Profession: Comedian and radio presenter
Eddie says: ‘WOW. Anyone who knows me, understands that music and dance is so important and central to who I am. I’m so unbelievably proud and honoured that Strictly and the BBC have asked me to join the 2023 Team. I promise you, I’m going to give it everything I’ve got. This is going to be a VIBE.
Profession: TV presenter
Angela says: ‘I’m not particularly fit, I’ve no idea how my pelvic floor is going to react to this dancing. I’ve never done any dances apart from drunken jiving at a wedding!’
Profession: Documentary maker and former Love Island star
Zara says: ‘I am so excited to be joining the world of Strictly! I grew up watching it every year with my nan and she was the biggest Strictly fan. We would dance around the house and I have such fond memories of that time in my life.’
Profession: Actor and presenter
Adam says: ‘I can’t dance to save my life but I’m buzzing to learn and have a good laugh with my pro. Get me on that dance floor…I can’t wait!’
Profession: Radio and TV presenter
Nikita says: ‘I can’t believe I’m going to be on Strictly. This is a dream come true. I’m still pinching myself. I don’t think it will properly sink in until I step onto the dancefloor. I can’t wait to get glammed up and get out there. Throw the glitter on me!’
Profession: Coronation Street star
Ellie says: ‘It still doesn’t feel real that I’m going to be doing Strictly!! It’s always been a dream of mine so I guess dreams really do come true!!!!’
Profession: Paralympic champion
Jody says: ‘I’m looking forward to the challenge and pushing myself way out of my comfort zone, especially as I’m always last onto the dance floor. Can’t wait to get stuck in, bring on the glitter and sequins.’
Profession: EastEnders star and model
Bobby says: ‘I’m so excited to be part of the Strictly line up, I can’t wait to start training like a professional dancer and adding a few moves to my locker. I’m looking forward to performing in-front of everyone.’
Nigel says: ‘I’m amazed, excited, and terrified to be doing Strictly. As an armchair fan of the show I have watched in awe as people have twirled and gyrated across the screen. And now it’s my turn…..gulp!’
Profession: Broadcaster and ex tennis player
Annabel says: ‘I have always loved watching Strictly and can’t quite believe I’m going to be part of this magical show – swapping tennis balls for glitter balls and looking forward to finding some joyfulness in the process.’
Profession: Actor and game show host
Les says: ‘I’m thrilled to be doing this iconic wonderful show as I approach my 70th birthday! In my career I’ve always gone for challenges outside my comfort zone and this is the ultimate one! Can’t wait.’
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