Ricky dennis

1961: Ricky Dennis takes to the stage

Ricky Dennis was a stage name adopted by Dennis Tanner for his career in showbusiness in the early 1960s. Working as doorman at the Orinoco Club in 1961, Dennis had bought an electric guitar to fulfil his dream of performing on stage and chose "Ricky Dennis" over "Rocky", after much deliberation. His lucky break came when the Orinoco's stripper didn't turn up and he was given an impromptu singing spot. His vocals went down so well - to the surprise of all - that manager Sam Johnson gave Dennis a regular gig at the club.

By the end of August 1961, Dennis was thinking of moving on and made up a business card with "Ricky Dennis - Mr. Showbusiness" on it in the hope of being head-hunted by talent agent Lenny Phillips. As the Rovers Return Inn was the only building in Coronation Street with a phone, Dennis gave the pub's number on his card, leading to bewilderment from Jack and Annie Walker when the call eventually came through. His work paid off and Dennis was hired by Lenny as a talent scout, following which he dropped the "Ricky Dennis" persona in favour of setting his own talent agency Dennis Tanner Enterprises.

Dennis didn't totally abandon his stage name. When a local paper reported on the engagement of Finsbury Beauty Queen Philippa Scopes, her husband-to-be was named by Mr. Ricky Dennis as Billy Walker. He again used the name while working as entertainments manager at a holiday camp in Carlisle in 1966.

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