- Was adopted as a baby.
- Left school at 14 and began work in a factory and soon after went into the textile trade.
- Went to prison after his mail order business went bust in 1961.
- Bought and ran his own antiques shop in the 1970s.
- Got his start in television after bumping into a TV producer at a barbecue.
- Appeared on the first season of Strictly Come Dancing, in 2004.
- Was vacationing on the Malaysian island of Langkawi when the Boxing Day tsunami hit in 2004; he and his wife climbed a tree until they were able to flee to higher ground.
- Nickname "The Duke" comes from his fancy style of dress; he's used the same tailor for over 40 years.
- Joyce Dickinson — Mother
- Jim Dickinson — Father
- Katrina — Stepdaughter
- Robert — Stepson
- Eugenie Gulesserian — Mother
- Lorne Lesley — Wife
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