14 March 1965 |
Derby, Derbyshire, England
|Known for||BBC Radio Derby
East Midlands Today (2007-11) (Sacked)
Desune "Des" Coleman (born 14 March 1965 in Derby, Derbyshire) is a British actor and presenter. He has appeared in numerous stage musicals, and played the role of Lenny Wallace in BBC's EastEnders. In 2007, he became the weatherman for BBC's East Midlands Today but was sacked in 2011 for breaching on-air guidelines. In 2016, he joins ITV Central's ITV News Central as the weather presenter.
Coleman worked as a welder after leaving school aged 16, before deciding to pursue a career in performing. He attended the Guildford School of Acting in Surrey, and after graduating in 1993 he worked as a singer in Germany for six months in the stage musical Chicago. He then landed a starring role in the musical Miss Saigon.
In 1996, he was cast as wideboy Lenny Wallace in the BBC soap opera EastEnders. His first television job, Coleman remained with the soap until 1999. His television work post EastEnders has included: Is Harry on the Boat? (2001); Casualty (2003); The Bill (2004), and Doctors (2004; 2006). He also appeared in the 2001 film Submerged with Sam Neill. On stage he has appeared in London’s West End's Rent, Simply Heavenly, and understudied the lead in Trevor Nunn’s musical opera Porgy and Bess. Currently, Des works on The One Show as a reporter.
Coleman has worked for BBC Radio Derby, where he was asked to do the weather report at the Broadcast Centre in Nottingham. This led to a career change. He trained as a weather presenter and in 2007 he began presenting for BBC's East Midlands Today television. The BBC terminated his contract in 2011 after Coleman used a live weather report to protest his innocence over firearm charges; he deliberately put the wrong temperature on the weather map and told viewers they should not believe everything said by the media.
Coleman, one of six children, grew up in Derby. His parents came from Jamaica in the 1960s - his father worked on the railways, while his mother Joan studied to become a nurse. Coleman has two sons, one named Lewis by his ex Sandra Griffin, and another to his later girlfriend Jane.
Coleman spent time in prison in his twenties for motoring offences. While at acting school, Coleman was diagnosed with cancer on his neck, a serious strain of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. He was admitted to the Royal Surrey Hospital in Guildford for a life saving operation to remove a malignant tumour, and was forced to undergo more surgery when more tumours developed on his face shortly after. He underwent a course of radiotherapy and as of 2008 is in remission.
In 2010, Coleman was arrested and charged for allegedly pointing an imitation firearm at another driver on a motorway. Coleman denied the charges. In April 2011, Coleman was "completely exonerated" of the allegations. According to the Judge at the court hearing, prosecution acted "negligently", having not discovered details of past convictions of the prosecuting witness. The witness had four incidents of road rage since 2009, and in one instance, threatened another motorist with a knife. The judge suggested the case should not have come to trial and ordered that a transcript of the proceedings be sent to the Director of Public Prosecutions.
- "Former EastEnders star loses job as BBC weatherman after on-air protest over gun court case". Daily Mail. 2011-04-06. Retrieved 2011-04-14.
- "Presenters". BBC. Retrieved 2008-03-10.
- Tim Wilson. "EastEnder Goes West". Walford Gazette. Retrieved 2008-03-10.
- "Great news!! Very happy to say that I'll be joining ITV Central as their new weather presenter #happydes 😊 Des Coleman on Twitter
- Tim Wilson. "My getaway from crime; EXCLUSIVE: EastEnders' Des Coleman on how prison cleaned up his acting". The Mirror. Retrieved 2008-03-10.
- Tim Wilson. "MY CANCER NIGHTMARE; THE DES COLEMAN STORY". The Mirror. Retrieved 2008-03-10.
- BBC. "Former BBC presenter Des Coleman cleared of gun charge". BBC News. Retrieved 2011-03-14.