Dennis Tanner




Full name:
Parents: Elsie & Arnold Tanner
Born: 1 April 1942
Siblings: Linda
Married: Jenny Sutton (May 1968)

Played by: Philip Lowrie
Appeared: December 1960 - May 1968

Elsie's wayward son came out of borstal in 1960 having served time for petty theft. Convinced that nobody would employ him because of his past, he moped around the house, constantly short of money and badgered by his mother to go out and find work to help the family keep the wolf from the door. He tried his hand at a lot of jobs: salesman, warehouse labourer, taxi driver, hair stylist, auctioneer, labourer, turf accountant, but he kept returning to his first love, show business.


He started singing in clubs using the stage name Ricky Dennis and hoped to get signed to an agency and make a career of it but when he received a call from Lenny Phillips it was to advise him that he didn't have much talent and to offer him a job as a talent scout. He took it and was soon promoted to Assistant Manager at the Orinoco Club and was later despatched to London to open a branch of the Phillips-Frazer Agency there. On his return he discovered pop sensation Brett Falcon, who was really a window cleaner called Walter Potts, and launched his career. Unfortunately he only signed him on a gentleman's agreement and without a written contract, he was soon snapped up by another agency. 

When his mother married Steve Tanner and moved to America, Dennis decided to turn no. 11 into a theatrical boarding house. He took in a six-piece of a girl's pipe band, followed by a family of acrobats, the Cooks. Mrs Cook was a domineering woman who took advantage of Dennis's easy-going nature and he feared he'd never get rid of them but the formidable woman packed their bags after one of her sons took a shine to Valerie Barlow.

Lucille Hewitt  persuaded Dennis to hold a New Year's Eve party in the house and the guests turned out to be a bunch of hippies. When the party was over they refused to leave and turned the house into a commune. Jenny Sutton turned up looking for her sister who had been a member of the commune. She had moved on but Dennis got Jenny a job at the hotel where he was working and whenJenny returned to her native London, Dennis followed. They returned to the Street by which time, Elsie had cme back from America and they pretended they were married so that they could sleep together. Elsie saw through the lie and Jenny was moved out to lodge with Minne Caldwell until the couple were eventually married at Weatherfield Register office. Dennis was working as a sales rep for Crowning Glory, a hairdressing supplies company, and soon after marrying he was promoted and the couple moved to Bristol.

Dennis was in trouble with the law again in 1973, when he was sentenced to 3 years in Pentonville for defrauding pensioners in a double-glazing scam. Elsie visited him and by this time his marriage had also failed.

In 2011 a homeless Dennis turned up in a Weatherfield soup kitchen. He was still a charmer and amused Sophie Webster and Sian Powers with his stories. They took him for something to eat in Roy's Rolls and  he couldn't resist a look at the Street where he'd spent so much of his early life. Rita Sullivan recognised him as they'd been friends many years ago when she was an exotic dancer. At first he refused her help but pretty soon she tidied up his appearance and he'd moved in to Rita's flat, sleeping on the sofa.







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