Declan Bennett

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Declan Bennett
Born (1981-03-20) 20 March 1981 (age 38)
Coventry, England
Other namesSumladfromcov (2001–06)
  • Singer–songwriter
  • actor
Years active1999–present
Musical career
  • Vocals
  • guitar
  • piano
  • flute

Declan Bennett (born 20 March 1981) is an English singer-songwriter and actor. During his musical career from 2001 to 2006 he appeared under the name Sumladfromcov, now performing under his own name. As a teenager he was a member of pop/rock band Point Break, and he has performed lead roles in shows in London's West End, including the lead role, Guy, in the UK premier of Tony-winning Broadway musical Once at the Phoenix Theatre in London.[1] In early 2014, Bennett joined EastEnders as Charlie Cotton, the secret grandson of long-serving character Dot Branning (June Brown) He was axed in 2015 and departed on 24 September but returned on 5 May 2017 for one month. In October 2016, Bennett took on the role as Jesus in Jesus Christ Superstar at the Open Air Theatre, Regent's Park. He reprised the role for the 2017 season.[2]

Early life[edit]

As a teenager, Bennett performed with the Belgrade Youth Theatre and the Coventry Youth Operetta Group (YOG) Coventry, including appearances in Willy Russell's Our Day Out in September 1996,[3] and in Boy Band, which featured a number of his own compositions.[4] He also performed with the National Youth Music Theatre, in The Kissing-Dance 1999.[5] It was revealed on ITV's This Morning that Bennett's parents are both Irish, something which led to the casting of Irish actress, Pauline McLynn (Father Ted, Shameless), as his onscreen mother, Yvonne Cotton, in EastEnders.[6] He is openly gay.[7]

Subsequent career[edit]

In May 1999, Bennett was one of nine teenagers chosen to sing live on the ITV morning TV show This Morning in a feature that put together a boy band. Following his appearance, he was contacted in the studio by another band, Point Break, which featured Brett Adams and David 'Ollie' Oliver from UK children's TV programme Byker Grove, who were signed to Warner Music, and who were looking for a new member. The band released five singles, four of which made the UK top 20, and an album, which was number one in three countries in South east Asia, including Japan, and made the UK top 40. Bennett left the band in December 2000.[citation needed]

In January 2002, Bennett was given the part of Guru Dazzle in Boy George's West End show Taboo, which received four Olivier Award nominations and he later took over one of the lead roles, Billy, playing alongside Matt Lucas, Boy George, and Julian Clary among others until the show closed in London in April 2003.[8]

Bennett also played the role of Billy in the UK tour of the show from December 2003 to 2004.[9][10]

In January 2005, Bennett released his first solo album The Painters Ball under the pseudonym Sumladfromcov on his own record label Covboy Records. This was followed by a limited-edition EP The Kitchen in May 2006.[11]

In September 2006, Bennett took over the role of Roger Davis in the American national tour of Broadway rock opera Rent. He completed a nine-month tour of the United States from September 2006 to May 2007.[12] He reprised the role on Broadway from October 2007 until May 2008.[13]

Now performing as a singer-songwriter under his own name, in March 2007, Bennett released a five-track iTunes-only EP 10 Nelson Road.[14] His second full-length album, entitled An Innocent Evening Of Drinking, was released on 14 April 2008.[15] An iTunes-only single "Therapy" packaged with two remixes (Olivia's Mix and New York Live Studio Mix) was released in the USA on 27 April 2009, in the rest of the world on 23 March 2009.

On 31 January 2010, Bennett performed on the Grammy Awards with Green Day as a cast member of American Idiot the musical. The rock opera opened on Broadway on 20 April 2010 and ran until 24 April 2011. Bennett was a member of the ensemble, understudying and performing the roles of Will and Rock and Roll Boyfriend.

Bennett released the album record:BREAKUP on 25 April 2011 in New York. His album, a live and acoustic version of record:BREAKUP was released on Monday 19 August 2013.

In 2013, he opened the West End production of Once, in the leading role of Guy with Zrinka Cvitešić (leading role of Girl).

On 7 March 2016, it was announced he will be playing the lead role in Jesus Christ Superstar at the Open Air Theatre Regents Park.


On 22 January 2014, it was announced that Bennett would join the cast of EastEnders as the long-lost grandson of long-serving character Dot Branning, played by veteran actress June Brown. EastEnders executive producer, Dominic Treadwell-Collins, questioned whether Charlie (named after his villainous grandfather Charlie Cotton) would be "kind" like his grandmother or "evil" like his infamous father Nick Cotton (John Altman). Bennett first appeared on 10 March 2014. In 2015 it was revealed that Eastenders bosses have written Bennett out the role of Charlie Cotton. In his time in the show he has been married to Ronnie Mitchell (Samantha Womack), been involved in a car crash, an affair and impersonating a police officer. On 5 April 2017, it was confirmed that Bennett would return to EastEnders after months of speculation. His return aired on 5 May 2017.[16]


With Point Break

Year Title Notes
1999 "Do We Rock" Warner Music, single.
1999 "Stand Tough" Warner Music, single.
2000 "Freaky Time" Warner Music, single.
2000 "You" Warner Music, single.
2000 Apocadelic Warner Music, album.
2000 "What About Us" Warner Music, single.

Solo releases

Year Title Notes
2005 The Painters Ball Covboy Records, album. Released under the name Sumladfromcov, ref COVBCD01, on 24 January 2005.
2006 The Kitchen Covboy Records, EP. Limited release under the name Sumladfromcov and sold at gigs and through the official website only.
2007 10 Nelson Road Covboy Records, EP. Download-only release through iTunes on 5 March 2007.
2008 An Innocent Evening of Drinking Covboy Records, album, ref COVBCD002. Released on 14 April 2008.
2009 "Therapy" Covboy Records, single. Download-only release through iTunes on 23 March 2009.



record:BREAKUP live & unplugged

Covboy Records, album, ref COVBCD003. Released on 25 April 2011.

Covboy Records, album ref COVBCD007. Released on 16 August 2013

2013 "Father Christmas Knows" Covboy Records, single. Download-only release through bandcamp December 2013.
2018 Unsolicited Material:LA Covboy Records, EP. Released on 27 July 2018.


  1. ^ "Declan Bennett and Zrinka Cvitešić to Star in West End Premiere of Once". 25 January 2013. Archived from the original on 9 January 2014. Retrieved 4 December 2015.
  2. ^ "Jesus Christ Superstar at the Open Air Theatre". Retrieved 27 September 2017.
  3. ^ [1] Archived 6 May 2007 at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^ Ruth Councell. "Belgrade Theatre press release - Boy Band - April 1999". Retrieved 4 December 2015.
  5. ^ Archived from the original on 5 February 2007. Retrieved 1 July 2007. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  6. ^ "Pauline McLynn & Declan Bennett - Video Dailymotion". 20 August 2014. Retrieved 4 December 2015.
  7. ^ Jenson, Michael (30 April 2010). ""American Idiot"'s Declan Bennett is Neither American Nor an Idiot, Just Very Talented". Logo TV. Retrieved 6 July 2017.
  8. ^ [2] Archived 26 September 2007 at the Wayback Machine
  9. ^ "Article". Retrieved 4 December 2015.
  10. ^ "Somerset - Taboo in Bath". BBC. Retrieved 4 December 2015.
  11. ^ "". Archived from the original on 21 April 2013. Retrieved 5 February 2013.
  12. ^ "Bennett and Jay Are New Bohemians in Broadway's Rent Oct. 8". 8 October 2007. Archived from the original on 8 December 2008. Retrieved 4 December 2015.
  13. ^ "Rodney Hicks Returns to 'Rent' with New-Comers Bennet & Jay". 29 April 1996. Retrieved 4 December 2015.
  14. ^ "10 Nelson Road (Acoustic Version) - EP by Declan Bennett on iTunes". 5 March 2007. Retrieved 4 December 2015.
  15. ^ "An Innocent Evening of Drinking by Declan Bennett on iTunes". 14 April 2008. Retrieved 4 December 2015.
  16. ^ "EastEnders airs a surprise return for Charlie Cotton". Digital Spy. 5 May 2017. Retrieved 6 May 2017.

External links[edit]