Les Dennis has today announced his intention to leave Coronation Street later this year in a hugely dramatic storyline.
Les joined Coronation Street in 2014 as charming house burglar, Michael Rodwell, who then began a relationship with Gail Platt after she forgave her uninvited guest.
Following a storyline about restorative justice, their romance blossomed when she got know the ‘gentle’ man behind the burglary. Softhearted Michael soon made himself at home, working as a taxi driver for Steve MacDonald and becoming a regular in the Rovers.
However, his marriage to Gail hit the rocks within hours of the nuptials when he discovered Andy had been masquerading as his son, Gavin. Michael was horrified to discover Gail had lied to him and even worse, Gavin was actually dead and she'd kept that from him too.
Angry and betrayed, Les's character fell into the arms of Gail's nemesis, Eileen. This was fairly short lived as Eileen soon replaced Michael with local builder, Pat Phelan. Michael could see Pat for what he was, but Eileen refused to see it.
Of late, Michael’s confrontations with Pat have become legendary, as he seems to be one of the very few characters on the Street who’ve got the measure of evil and conniving Phelan.
Renowned for his stage and television work, Les has become a firm favourite with fans of the soap, fellow actors and colleagues at Coronation Street’s production base in Trafford, Manchester and having achieved a long held ambition, feels excited to move on to new projects.
Of his decision Les said:
"As a lifelong fan of the show, playing Michael Rodwell in Coronation Street has been a dream come true. Becoming part of the ITV Coronation Street family has been a wonderful experience and my decision to leave was a hard one.
“Earlier this year, thanks to Coronation Street giving me a sabbatical from the show, I was thrilled to be able to produce and star in a sell-out production of Alan Bleasdale's Down the Dock Road at The Royal Court Liverpool. I always knew that the time would come when I would want the freedom to do more projects, and now feels like the right time.
“The talented team of writers and producers have come up with a very dramatic exit for Michael on the show which will be exciting to film. I’ll treasure the two and a half years I have been part of such an iconic show and move on with very fond memories, so many lovely friends and colleagues and an ambition achieved."
Coronation Street producer Kate Oates commented:
“We’re very sad to see Les leave Coronation Street as he’s an enormously popular and talented actor. He’s brought warmth, wit and integrity to the character of Michael. We have worked on giving him a great story to ensure a fantastic and dramatic end to his time on the Street. I can't wait to see it unfold!
"He will be very much missed and we wish him many successes with his new ventures."