Sorry What?! Strictly's Les Dennis Has Actually Had To Deny He's A 'Horse In A Human Costume'

Yes, you read that correctly.
Les Dennis on Good Morning Britain earlier this month
Les Dennis on Good Morning Britain earlier this month
Ken McKay/ITV/Shutterstock

Soon-to-be Strictly Come Dancing star Les Dennis has weighed in on a bizarre but persistent online joke which suggests that he is not a human but a horse in disguise. And no, you’re not hallucinating.

In recent weeks, Les’ Wikipedia page has repeatedly been edited to describe him in various equine terms, ranging from “race horse” to “a purebred horse pretending to be an English television presenter, actor and comedian”.

One such edit even claimed that 69-year-old Les is “well known for his extraordinary racing ability for a horse measuring at 17 hands”.

As you can probably tell, internet users have seriously committed to this particular bit, with some online jokers even tweeting poor unsuspecting Les to ask him directly whether he is horse or human.

Even the news that he would be taking part in the 2023 season of Strictly was greeted with more horse-related chat, with some Twitter users wishing him luck in the “dressage” contest.

Responding to this strange rumour in good-humour, the Family Fortunes host wrote on Twitter: “For some obscure reason there are a lot of people on here asking if I’m a horse.

“Nay to that.”

Some users responded with more horse puns of their own, joking that hopefully the rumours wouldn’t stick around “furlong”, and that Les shouldn’t give them “the time of hay”.

You’ve got to admire the dedication, really. But where did the whole thing start?

It can all be traced back to comedian Adam Rowe, who explained the whole peculiar situation on his podcast Have A Word, which he co-hosts with Dan Nightingale.

“We came up with a theory that doesn’t make any sense that Les Dennis is actually a horse wearing a human costume,” Adam said. “So then, with absolutely no context whatsoever, we started tweeting Less Dennis saying, ‘Hey Les, we’re fully aware that you’re a horse by the way, and you need to come clean.’”

“I found it so funny that I thought this might work as a bit on stage,” Adam added. “I was very new in comedy.”

He “tried this material maybe six times in total” and admitted that it didn’t work five of those times, until he performed it in Manchester.

“That night at the Manchester Comedy Store, I don’t know how I said it or why, but the audience were like, ‘this is the funniest thing ever,’” he recalled.

The joke started to gain more traction online and picked up more steam when Adam discussed it on his podcast.

Les will be trotting onto the Strictly dance floor next month alongside fellow contestants including Angela Rippon, Nigel Harman and Krishnan Guru-Murthy.

The final hopeful to be announced, Les said that he felt “thrilled to be doing this iconic wonderful show as I approach my 70th birthday”.

“In my career I’ve always gone for challenges outside my comfort zone and this is the ultimate one!” he added.

Alongside his TV work, Les has appeared in stage productions of shows including Hairspray, Legally Blonde and 42nd Street.


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