David Dickinson’s life unveiled – real name, prison stint and famous relative

David Dickinson has became a star on various reality television shows about such as Bargain Hunt and Dickinson’s Real Deal.

However, the road to his success has not been as smooth and he's learnt a lot at the school of hard knocks.

David, who turned 82 on August 16, was first introduced to the world of showbiz when he travelled the world as the manager of his international cabaret star wife, Lorne.

READ MORE: David Dickinson, 81, 'not quitting' Dickinson's Real Deal as new series in the works

After building himself a reputation as an antiques dealer to the rich and famous with an eye for treasures, David's journey to primetime television star began.

Between 2000 and 2004, David hosted the BBC One antiques show Bargain Hunt, where he was succeeded by Tim Wonnacott.

He left the BBC in 2005 and since 2006, Dickinson has been hosting the ITV daytime show Dickinson's Real Deal, which sees members of the public bringing antiques and collectables to sell to a dealer or take to the auction.

In April 2003, he hosted his own daytime chat show series The David Dickinson Show and in 2017, he presented David Dickinson's Name Your Price for ITV.

Daily Star has taken a look into David's private life away from the cameras.

Real name

David's real last name is Gulesserian and he has Armenian ancestry.

He's the son of Eugenie Gulesserian, daughter of Hrant Gulesserian, an Armenian textile merchant who had moved from Constantinople to Manchester in 1904.

He was given up for adoption as an infant and never again met his biological mother although he corresponded with her in later life when she was living in Jersey.

David was subsequently adopted by the Dickinsons, a local couple.

Mr Dickinson died when David was 12, and as his mother worked hard to keep the family together, David was partly brought up by his adoptive paternal grandmother, Sarah.

Family life

David met his wife, Lorné Lesley, a cabaret performer, in a nightclub in the 1960s.

He was her manager and they married in 1968.

As a wedding gift Lorné gave David an antique regency mourning ring, set with a rose cut diamond.

After David and Lorne got married, he decided to adopt her two children from a previous marriage, Robert and Katrina.

David and Lorne are also proud grandparents to three grandchildren.

The couple rarely give interviews together, but they did share an insight into their home life during a 2017 interview with The Mirror.

David said of their domestic life: "Lorné lets me think I'm the master of my own home.

"Any girls who know what they're doing lets their man think they're in charge, but we know we're not really."

Famous relative

Jack Whitehall previously revealed he is related to David.

The comedian opened up about the bizarre family connection on The Jonathan Ross show last year.

He explained that he found out he and fellow TV star David are related while both were attending a funeral.

Jack said that while the pair aren’t blood-related, David is married into his family as the presenter’s wife Lorné is Jack’s second cousin.

The comic explained at the time: "[David is] married to one of my second cousins. I saw him at a funeral, over the other side of the grave."

Prison stint

David spent time in prison before making it big on television.

He served a three years of a four-year prison sentence for mail-order fraud after getting involved with the wrong crowd as a teenager.

The scam involved buying goods on credit, selling them and recycling the money back into the business to gain a better credit rating.

He served the majority of his time in Strangeways prison in Manchester at the age of 19.

Speaking to The Mirror back in 2005, he explained: “I hated every moment but I knew I had to get through.

"I vowed I would never do anything to put myself back in this position.

"I had brought shame on my family, I’d been a cocky young thing."

“I will never forget the moment. It all happened so fast, the handcuffs, being read my rights. The fear was horrendous."

Tan secret

Despite speculation that David’s tan is fake, turns out it’s the real deal.

The TV personality claims his famous tan comes from a combination of his Armenian descent and going on lots of holidays.

He said in a previous interview: "I've got olive skin from my Armenian heritage, and my real secret is getting as many holidays in as I can.

"I don't go on sun beds, and I've never used a spray tan – I just go on holiday.

"I work hard so when I have time off, I treat myself and my wife to a wonderful hotel."

Net Worth

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David's total net worth is estimated to be about £2 million as of 2021, according to wealthygenius.com

At age of 14, David started an apprenticeship at an aircraft factory. But he soon changed his mind and went through several other career choices, searching for his true vocation.

He finally found it when he began selling antiques at various fairs.

It proved to be a financially rewarding line of working and he even caught an eye of people from television.

David’s net worth keeps growing. He loves fast and expensive cars but owns also electric Smart EV vehicle.

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