My Celebrity Life

Les Dennis lands role in Hairspray the Musical as it returns to the West End

Les is returning to the stage for Hairspray’s re-opening in the West End (Picture: ITV)

Les Dennis will join the cast of Hairspray the Musical when the show re-opens in the West End in June.

Les will be returning to the role of Wilbur Turnblad, father of lead character Tracy, who he first played on tour.

Les is replacing Paul Merton as Wilbur, who was unable to reprise the role after pandemic delays saw it clash with other scheduled commitments.

The TV star, who said he is ‘excited’ to be returning to the stage this year, has had a varied career spanning 50 years, with time spent as a comedian and impressionist, as well as stints with Coronation Street, the RSC, as the presenter of Family Fortunes and as a reality TV star.

Michael Ball will star opposite Les, as he again returns to this Olivier award-winning role of Edna Turnblad.

The show is set to play a limited season at the London Coliseum, from June 21 to September 29.

Les will be starring opposite Michael Ball, as his wife, Edna Turnblad (Picture: Adam Spiegel Productions/Fiery Angel)

Les was a stalwart of Saturday Night TV in the 80s and 90s, starring in The Russ Abbot Show and The Les Dennis Laughter Show, performing sketches and impressions, and most famously hosting Family Fortunes between 1987 and 2002.

More recently, Les was seen in Jimmy McGovern drama Moving On and in the Birds of a Feather Christmas Special.

Last year, the TV legend admitted that he had become more aware of mortality now that he is 67 – as his father died at the age of 66.

Les has kept busy during the pandemic, managing to film TV parts and a new Channel 5 travel series (Picture: Ken McKay/ITV/Shutterstock)

He said on Twitter: ‘Mortality sinks in as we pass these milestones. These are weird times but I’m blessed to have an amazing family. Thank you lovely ones. 67 here I come.’

The original West End production of Hairspray won four Olivier awards in 2008, including best new musical and Michael Ball’s second win for best actor in a musical.

The rest of the cast includes Lizzie Bea as lead Tracy Turnblad, Marisha Wallace (Dreamgirls, original West End cast of Waitress) as Motormouth, EastEnders’ Rita Simons as vampy Velma Von Tussle and Sex Education’s Jonny Amies as Link Larkin.

Credit: Original article published here.

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