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Les Dennis Obituary


MikeO
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Not a joke but I stumbled on this spoof Les Dennis obituary while doing some research on Amanda Holden (on Everton ladies day :unsure: honest :P ). It may be a bit of a generational thing so it probably won't make everyone laugh but I've been crying real tears here. One of the funniest things I've read in ages.

 

Obituary: Les Dennis

 

Entertainer who over-filled his potential

by Kieren McCarthy

 

Les Dennis, the game show host, entertainer and singular impressionist who died on Friday aged 49, had ironically seen his career rebound in recent months after appearing on television show Big Brother and announcing that his marriage with young actress Amanda Holden had broken up.

 

At his peak, Dennis was rarely off TV screens and was a favourite with old ladies and uneducated middle-aged women alike. Renowned for his peerless impression of a minor character in TV soap Coronation Street (he always recited the same phrase or preceded the impression with the character's name just to keep the audience on their toes), Les is perhaps best remembered for hosting quiz show Family Fortunes, in which he was frequently the most intelligent person featured, despite the odds.

 

The show saw him follow in the footsteps of legendary entertainers Max Bygraves and Bob Monkhouse, although he never let the pressure of the role get to him and his confidence grew over the years as the viewing figures fell.

 

It was in his early 20s though that Les first tasted success. Teaming up with Dustin Gee, the comedy duo created a low-grade Morecambe and Wise, with Les playing the straightman to Dustin's straightman. Their comic flair landed them a spot on The Laughter Show, which later became the Les and Dustin's Laughter Show.

 

Tragically, Dustin Gee died of a heart attack after just one show had been broadcast, leaving Les with one series of the Les Dennis Laughter Show before the discrepancy between the three series' titles and the programmes' actual content saw them discontinued.

 

However, to the rescue came one of the world's greatest ever comedians, Russ Abbott, who offered Les a role in his new Madhouse programme. Bolstered by two new impressions, which years later Les revealed were based on boxer Frank Bruno and comic character Frank Spencer, his career appeared back on track.

 

It wasn't long though before Les had taken the step towards the one job that was to pay the bills for the next 15 years — panto. Now recognised as one of the greatest ever panto performers after the Chuckle Brothers, Les also had the good fortune to meet his future wife, Amanda Holden, 17 years his junior, while playing Mother Goose in Brighton.

 

It was fame at first sight and Les was inseparable from the stunning and mildly more talented actress. During the rare times they weren't together, he would call the nubile blonde every hour, but nevertheless she still found time to perfect her acting techniques with a range of male co-stars, including Men Behaving Badly actor Neil Morrissey.

 

Just when Les risked being eclipsed by his wife's success, however, he was offered the chance of a lifetime to star in Celebrity Big Brother 9. The programme — in which Les was seen evocatively conversing with chickens — refuelled tabloid interest in the man behind the now-legendary if inaccurate Laughter Shows. With offers to appear on daytime TV flooding in, it seemed to many that Les may again reach the pinnacle of his 80s career.

 

But it was not to be. It is a sad fact that just weeks before his death, Les and Amanda announced to the world's media that they marriage was over. On his untimely demise, media commentators immediately speculated that a broken heart had killed the ageing entertainer although the coroner reported decapitation as the primary cause of death.

 

He leaves behind a copy of OK! magazine, a small bag of grain and a pair of soiled underpants.

 

Edited by MikeO
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