Les Dennis has 'no regrets' about showbiz career, but admits 'Big Brother' wasn't 'finest moment'

·Contributor
·2 min read
Telly legend Les Dennis is celebrating 50 years in showbiz this year. (David M. Benett/Getty Images)
Telly legend Les Dennis is celebrating 50 years in showbiz this year. (David M. Benett/Getty Images)

Les Dennis says he doesn't have any regrets about his 50-year career in showbusiness, but has confessed that Celebrity Big Brother "didn’t seem like my finest moment".

The 67-year-old star told the Mirror in a reflective interview that he would do everything all over again given where his career has taken him.

Read more: Les Dennis says new Family Fortunes revamp is "boring"

His first dabbles with showbiz came in 1971, when he was just 17 and still at school, on BBC Radio Merseyside's Variety Time and TV talent show Opportunity Knocks.

He said: “I’ve no regrets because I am where I am now. And where I am in life right now I’m very happy.

“Whatever way it’s led me here, it’s been the right path.”

Les Dennis hosted 'Family Fortunes' for 15 years between 1987 and 2002. (ITV)
Les Dennis hosted 'Family Fortunes' for 15 years between 1987 and 2002. (ITV)

The peak of Dennis's fame came when he took on the job of hosting beloved game show Family Fortunes in 1987 and held on to the role until 2002.

He later played the character of petty criminal Michael Rodwell in Coronation Street from 2014 until 2016.

One of Dennis's most notorious career moves was his decision to take part in the second series of Celebrity Big Brother in 2002, while he was in the thick of his split from second wife Amanda Holden.

Read more: Most shocking Celebrity Big Brother moments

Dennis said he had “an emotional crisis on live television”, but claimed his time on the show ultimately had a positive career impact.

He said: “It didn’t seem like my finest moment, but if I hadn’t done it Ricky Gervais wouldn’t have called me and Extras wouldn’t have come along. I think of it like that — every cloud.”

Les Dennis says working on 'Extras' with Ricky Gervais helped him to 'reinvent' himself. (David M. Benett/Getty Images)
Les Dennis says working on 'Extras' with Ricky Gervais helped him to 'reinvent' himself. (David M. Benett/Getty Images)

Dennis played a heightened version of himself in a 2005 episode of Ricky Gervais's show, which he credits with helping him to "reinvent".

He would go on to take on the Coronation Street role, which culminated in his character being left for dead by serial killer Pat Phelan.

Read more: Piers Morgan banned Les Dennis from GMB

As far as the prospect of retirement goes, Dennis said he still "looks forward to every day", adding: “Somebody said to me you don’t retire from showbusiness, showbusiness retires you."

Dennis will next be seen on the Channel 5 series Fishing Scotland’s Lochs and Rivers, appearing alongside other stars including Fern Britton and Linford Christie.

Watch: Amanda Holden gets 50th birthday surprise from Britain's Got Talent judges