Belfast Telegraph

Hugh Dennis feeling outnumbered as he trains hard for Sport Relief

Comedian Hugh Dennis has ruled out making annual Christmas specials of his hit sitcom Outnumbered because they are "difficult" to write.

During an interview with the Press Association, the 54-year-old actor said he was "proud" of the popular family comedy.

Written by Andy Hamilton and Guy Jenkin, the creators of Drop The Dead Donkey, Outnumbered began in 2007 and ran for five series until 2014.

Dennis, 54, and actress Claire Skinner starred as Pete and Sue Brockman, harassed p arents to Karen (played by Ramona Marquez), Ben (Daniel Roche) and Jake (Tyger Drew-Honey).

Acclaimed for its realistic depiction of modern-day parenting, Outnumbered was among the most popular comedies on BBC One, with special episodes including seasonal editions and tie-ins to Comic Relief and Sport Relief.

But in answer as to whether he would like to see annual Yuletide instalments, Dennis expressed doubt.

"I don't know about every year, because Christmas specials are quite a difficult thing to write and make different," he said.

"But, kids don't generally leave home until they're around 35 now so we've got another 20 years at least in which we can reasonably do some episodes."

The Kettering-born star is continuing his association with Sport Relief for Clash Of The Titans.

This event sees two teams, captained by Olympian Sir Steve Redgrave and former England cricket star Andrew "Freddie" Flintoff, go head to head at London's Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in five different Olympic sporting events.

Spectators can buy tickets to see the likes of Take Me Out's Paddy McGuinness and former cricketer Darren Gough among celebrities taking part in track cycling, rhythmic gymnastics, synchronised swimming, wrestling and a team triathlon race across the Olympic Park.

The night will kick off on March 18 with the men's elimination race on the Velodrome track.

Alongside Dennis and the captains, it features TV historian Dan Snow, McFly's Harry Judd and Mark Wright of The Only Way Is Essex fame.

Talking about his training sessions, Dennis hailed his team captain's competitiveness.

"I worked out that Freddie Flintoff and Harry Judd have a combined age of about 70-odd and Steve Redgrave and I have a combined age of 107 so you kind of think, 'who's going to win that one?'.

"But you don't account for the competitiveness of the people who are doing it: Steve Redgrave wouldn't leave the training track! He just kept on going and going.

"There's some very determined people doing this," he said.

The Not Going Out star also paid tribute to Sport Relief itself, calling the charity "unique".

"One of the great things about Britain and the British people is that we're actually very generous and willing to give," he stated.

"Sport Relief gives lots of money to people wherever they happen to be disadvantaged, but also in doing that, you can run or cycle or walk or whatever - and you're doing yourself good at the same time.

"It's a unique charity and event in that respect. You do discover things about yourself such as how far you can push yourself or how much you want to win."

The comedian joked: "But what I've discovered is that I am quite a good loser because I've done it quite often!"

:: To buy tickets for Clash Of The Titans and to find out more about the challenge, visit


From Belfast Telegraph