27 DECEMBER 2002
Actress Amanda Holden and her presenter/actor husband Les Dennis have ended their seven-year marriage, it was announced in a joint statement.
“It is very sad,” said Amanda, 31. “We have been together for 10 years and we have tried hard to make our mariage work. I have the most enormous love and respect for Les.”
Forty-eight-year-old Les, who was recently the runner-up in the Celebrity Big Brother series, said, “Amanda and I have had a good marriage and I have no regrets. Sadly, we have grown apart recently and we both feel that it is time to move on. I wish her good luck in all that she does in the future.”
The couple, who met at a party, were married in 1995. They split up briefly in 2000 after Amanda had an affair with Men Behaving Badly actor Neil Morrissey, but in 2001 they seemed to be determined to give things a second chance. “We wanted to make sure we weren’t going to throw away anything precious,” said Amanda when explaining their decision to stay together. “Les obviously loves me very much and I love him.”
However, despite Amanda’s sister insisting that, “They are still very much together,” there were signs of a rift when the Big Brother series ended: all the other contestants had walked straight out into the arms of their nearest and dearest, but Les went home to an empty house because Amanda had decided not to interrupt the filming of her new series, Cutting It, to welcome him.
The former Family Fortunes presenter gave up his job this year after nearly 15 years with the programme in order to concentrate on his acting career, and has since been seen in The Bill and Brookside.