Amanda Holden’s love life – secret affair, divorce and stillborn heartache

Amanda Holden’s love life – secret affair, divorce and stillborn heartache


Amanda Holden is a Saturday night staple once again thanks to the return of Britain's Got Talent last month, and fans have certainly missed the star after a two-year hiatus.

The 51-year-old joined fellow judges David Walliams, singer Alesha Dixon, and Simon Cowell on the talent show, with the series returning to more than six million viewers.

Amanda's relationships have caught the headlines throughout her career but that seems to be a thing of the past now.

Away from the spotlight, the Heart Breakfast host is happily married to record producer Chris Hughes, but what was her dating history before she settled down?

Les Dennis

Amanda married Family Fortunes star Les Dennis for eight years, from 1995 to 2003, but in 2000 had an affair with actor Neil Morrissey, 59.

She met the Men Behaving Badly actor when they began working together on comedy-drama Happy Birthday Shakespeare and soon the couple began an affair.

Speaking of the affair in her autobiography she revealed: “I knew in my heart that my marriage was on the rocks but the guilt was unbearable and I hated myself for being so deceitful.

“I knew Les had been unfaithful to his wife (and lover) in the past and that Neil was being unfaithful to Rachel, but I’d never done this kind of thing before.

“I’d lie awake at night, feeling how wrong this was, and wanting to stop it. I absolutely hated myself.”

The affair only lasted for six weeks and while Amanda and Les tried to reconcile they eventually divorced in 2003.

Neil is now in a relationship with lawyer Emma Killick and the pair share a home together.

After the marriage ended, the actress alleged Les cheated on her shortly before he entered the Celebrity Big Brother house in 2002, she said: “Just before he was due to go into the CBB house, he confessed that he’d slept with someone I knew.

"I remember wondering how I should be feeling. Angry? Hurt? Betrayed? The truth is I felt none of them. Sadly, I felt relieved.

Amanda opened up about her affair with Neil in 2013, telling Good Housekeeping: “Neil rightly or wrongly got loads of stick. I feel like it was my fault – I was the one who was married.

“I want to change the general perception of him, as he was very caring and very loving and very worried about me because I lost so much weight. He used to cook for me and look after me and babysit the dogs."

She also told the Daily Mail: “I brought it on myself, I appreciate that, but nothing will ever be as bad again. It was a very dark time. It got to the point where I felt I could hardly breathe.

“Les proved to be my saviour. Ironically. So the person I'd hurt the most in the world was the one who was there for me.”

Neil apologised to the game host for the affair on Piers Morgan's Life Stories in 2014.

He said: “I feel sorry for how the situation was dealt with and I feel sorry for how emotional Les seemed to become. It was very difficult for him and for that I'm very sorry.”

Les met his third wife Claire Nicholson in 2005 and the couple had a daughter together three years later.

Chris Hughes

Amanda met record producer Chris Hughes, known as Merrick, in Los Angeles in 2003, and started dating a year later.

The 67-year-old is part of the music group Adam and the Ants and he is best known for producing Tears for Fears’ Songs from the Big Chair, and being the co-writer of “Everybody Wants to Rule the World”.

The duo tied the knot in December 2008, at St Margaret’s Church in Somerset, with their nearly two-year-old daughter Lexi in attendance.

In January 2012, the couple welcomed their second daughter Hollie.

Speaking to HELLO! about her marriage in 2019, Amanda revealed: "Chris is very funny and errs on the side of lightness. We can make jokes out of any situation throughout the best and darkest times of our lives. He's rubbish at romance, but he's there for the solid things – such as keeping my car clean and making sure I relax."

She added: "He's a proper bloke who looks after me. I'm a strong, opinionated woman, but he helps steer the Mandy ship."

The couple have experienced their share of heartache after Amanda suffered a miscarriage in 2010, and in 2011, she sadly delivered her stillborn son Theo at seven months pregnant.

Speaking to You in 2021, Amanda said the devastation strengthened her relationship with Chris: "When we lost Theo someone said to us we need to hold on to one another. Chris is my absolute rock and means everything to me.

"Theo will always be part of our family. He would have been a year older than Hollie. I often look at the children in the year above her and think, 'Oh yes, today Theo would have been doing this'. It’s not something to get over, but I’ve got my head round it."

In an interview with the Mirror, Amanda discussed the longevity of their marriage, she said: "He challenges me and I challenge him, and I think that's the secret to a good marriage."

The BGT judge added: "Oh god I really fancy Chris, we'll be eating dinner in a restaurant, he'll go to the loo, then I'll look up, catch a glimpse of a man and think, 'he's fit' and then realise, that's my husband! I still fancy him!"

Amanda also said in the past that sex plays a big part in their romance, and it helps that they can’t keep their hands of each other even after two decades.

“He can’t keep his hands off me,” she told The Sun.

“I actually tell him off because I say: ‘I don’t want to have a kiss and a grope while I’m trying to load the dishwasher,” she added.

They live in a luxury mansion in Surrey with their two daughters, where they have resided as a family since 2015.

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