Who is Strictly star Les Dennis’ wife and children? Meet them here

Les Dennis is among the star-studded lineup for Strictly Come Dancing 2023! Ahead of his ballroom debut, the presenter and stand-up comedian recently told HELLO! and other outlets, about his family’s reaction to the news – and they couldn’t be happier for him.  

Back in 2005, Les found love with Claire Nicholson, following his marriages to Lynne Webster and Amanda Holden, and he’s also a proud father-of-three. Keep reading for all the details of his sweet family life. 

WATCH: Strictly Come Dancing take HELLO! behind the scenes

Who is Les Dennis’ wife?

During a 2023 interview with The Sunday Times, Les opened up about his first meeting with wife and former HR professional, Claire Nicholson. 

Les Dennis with his wife, Claire Nicholson © Getty
Les Dennis with his wife, Claire Nicholson

Revealing that they’d crossed paths in 2005 at a charity event, the Strictly star admitted that his separation from ex-wife Amanda Holden, had left him closed off in matters of the heart. 

“After everything that had happened I felt damaged,” he said. “At times I just wanted to bugger off to Spain and retire — to run away from all the pain. I certainly wasn’t interested in another serious relationship. Claire, who worked in HR and now looks after our finances, was a lovely person and, yes, I did ask if she wanted to go out for dinner, but it was nothing more than me being polite.”

amanda holden les dennis wedding day 1995© South Coast Press/Shutterstock
The comedian was previously married to Amanda Holden

During his previous marriage, reports of an affair between Amanda Holden and actor Neil Morrisey had dominated the press, and following Les and Amanda’s decision to divorce, the Family Fortunes star had been overwhelmed by media attention. 

While Les may not have been looking for a serious relationship at the time, things quickly changed as he spent more and more time with Claire. “Love catches you out when you’re not looking,” he told The Sunday Times

Les Dennis and Claire Nicholson posing on the red carpet© Getty
Les and Claire are proud parents to daughter Ellie and son Thomas

“Although Claire and I went on several dates, I couldn’t bring myself to commit. I convinced myself it wasn’t going to work. Then, after about four months, we were planning our first Christmas together and, out of nowhere, I found myself saying, “I love you.” The L word! Where did that come from?”

Eventually the pair went on to welcome their daughter Eleanor in April 2008, before tying the knot in Highgate, North London, the following year. Adorably, a then 19-month-old Ellie served as their flower girl. In April 2011, Les and Claire would become proud parents once again, after welcoming a son, Thomas. 

While the couple prefers to live a private life, Les has revealed Claire’s response to his Strictly news, and it looks like she’ll be cheering him on when the season commences.  “She cried but in a good way. She didn’t cry going ‘Don’t do it!'” he said in an interview. 

Strictly stars and their children

Gemma Atkinson and Gorka Marquez sit on the sofa with the children
Gorka Marquez, Gemma Atkinson and their children
  • Strictly pro Gorka Marquez and former Strictly contestant Gemma Atkinson share two children, Mia, four, and baby Thiago. 
  • Strictly: It Takes Two host Janette Manrara and her dancer husband Aljaz Skorjanec are parents to baby girl Lyra.
  • Strictly winners Kevin Clifton and Stacey Dooley welcomed baby Minnie in January 2023.
  • Former Strictly pros James and Ola Jordan share a daughter, three-year-old Ella.
  • Former pro Pasha Kovalev and Rachel Riley share two daughters, Maven, three, and Noa, one.
  • Strictly judge and ex-pro Anton du Beke and his wife Hannah share adorable six-year-old twins George and Henrietta.
  • Former Strictly star Artem Chigvintsev and Nikki Bella became parents to son Matteo in July 2000.
  • Professional dancer Natalie Lowe and her husband James Knibbs welcomed their son Jack in December 2020. 
  • Ben Cohen and former Strictly dancer Kristina Rihanoff met in series 11 and now share a six-year-old daughter, Milena.
  • Ex-Strictly pro Brendan Cole and his wife Zoe Hobbs are parents to Aurelia, age 10, and Dante, five.

Les Dennis’ children

Les Dennis is a father of three. He shares his eldest son Phillip, 43, with his first wife Lynne, and his two youngest, daughter Eleanor, 15, and son Thomas, 12, with his third wife Claire.

Les Dennis wears a suit and stands in front of blue glittery sheet for Strictly portrait© Ray Burmiston
Les is a proud father-of-three

Prior to welcoming daughter Ellie in 2008, the 69-year-old told HELLO! That he was “delighted” at the news. 

“Bringing up a little girl will be a different experience for me,” he explained.  “As an older, established dad, I won’t be off chasing my career like I did when Phillip was born.” 

MORE:  Strictly’s Nigel Harmon’s sheepish confession about training ahead of show 

READ:  Strictly Come Dancing contestant reveals front-runner following group rehearsals

As for how his three children reacted to his Strictly gig, Les told outlets that they were “thrilled” for him, so we expect they’ll be tuning in each week. 


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