Nigel Harman: his age, EastEnders character and what happened on Strictly

He was forced to leave Strictly 2023 alongside his dancing partner Katy Jones

nigel harman

by Elena Angelides |
Updated on

Remember Dennis Rickman? The son of EastEnders villain Dirty Den and Paula Rickman?

The heartthrob of Walford was played by none other than soap actor turned Strictly star, Nigel Harman.

We thought we'd have a look back at Nigel's iconic time on the BBC soap and what he's up to now because we'll never forget that New Year's Eve episode that ended with him dying.

It's well known that EastEnders' final credits signal drama. There’s no dun dun dun without fire. Erm, well, except on the odd occasion Pat Butcher ordered an orange juice down the Queen Vic. We’re just as lost as you are.

And, if the storyline is developing as the festive episodes unfold, it’s more likely that the juicy drama involves murder. Think, Archie Mitchell killed with the bust of the Queen Vic.

But out of all the EastEnders heroes and villains, the one OG heartthrob whose death was far too much to handle (still now), was Dirty Den's son Dennis.

If you can't remember him, fear not we'll cast you back to 2003.

What happened to Dennis Rickman?

Almost twenty years ago, Dennis burst onto the scene in typical EastEnders bad-boy fashion: wearing handcuffs. Monster Dennis was on day release from prison to attend his mum, Paula’s funeral.

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Nigel alongside Leslie Grantham (aka Dirty Den) and Letitia Dean (aka Sharon Mitchell) ©getty images

It transpired Dennis was the long-lost-son of Den Watts – aka Dirty Den – who had an affair with off-screen character Paula Rickman when she was just 16 years old, and he, ten years her senior.

In a storyline from 14 years prior, in 1989, it was believed that Dirty Den was shot and fell to his death into a canal.

Anyway back to our favourite Dennis; he quickly fell in love with his biological dad's adopted daughter Sharon – are you still with us? - and he got into a lot of fisticuffs with Phil Mitchell.

Only, in a shock revelation, Dirty Dan returned from the dead - queue "hello, princess," and told his son to “sling your hook” – after trying to break up the drunk-in-love-step-siblings.

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Natalie Cassidy, Nigel Harman, Jessie Wallace and Shane Richie in 2004 together ©getty images

Following another murder (Dirty Den for the second time) and an affair (Dennis had an affair with Sharon behind his girlfriend Zoe Slater's back), the step siblings reunited and on Christmas Day 2005, Sharon discovered she was pregnant after believing she was infertile_._

*Duff duff duff.*

Only, on New Year’s Eve, as Albert Square hardman Johnny Allen laid dying, he ordered his henchmen to kill Dennis.

Amongst exploding fireworks, Dennis and Sharon were ready to leave the Square and start a new life in America with their baby. Only, as Dennis and Sharon locked eyes, he was brutally stabbed.

Six months later, Sharon left Walford and named their baby Denny.

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Nigel Harman in 2020 ©getty images

Who played Dennis Rickman?

If that drama was too much for you too, then Dennis is actually played by the gorgeous Nigel Harman, who’s really into meditation. So, let’s calm it down.

How old is Nigel Harman?

Nigel was on born on 11th August 1973 in Purly, South London. So that makes him 50 years old.

What does Nigel Harman look like now?

He's still looking hot.

nigel harman now
©Getty (Photo by Mike Marsland/WireImage)

What is Nigel Harman doing now?

Well, according to his Instagram bio, Nigel is acting, directing and meditating.

He also joined the cast of Casualty in February 2023 for 19 episodes where he played the role of Max Cristie.

He has previously starred in Downton Abbey, Mount Pleasant and Blood Diamond - yup, the film Leonardo DiCaprio is in.

What happened when Nigel Harman was on Strictly?

Katy and nigel
nigel and katya had to quit the show ©Strictly Come Dancing 2023,23-09-2023,Generics,Nigel Harman & Katya Jones,BBC,Ray Burniston

The soap star joined the likes of Love Island bombshell Zara McDermott for Strictly 2023.

Nigel danced alongside professional Katya Jones, with the Russian born dancer declaring him, "perfect."

Although they were thriving in the dance show, Nigel and Katya was forced to quit Strictly after Nigel sustained a rib injury during practice.

Sad times all around.

Is Nigel Harman married?

In 2011 he married actress Lucy Katherine Leimann and they have a daughter together who was born in 2012.

Does Nigel Harman have Instagram?

He sure does and you can find him zenning out over at @themeditatingactor.

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