Denise van Outen

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Denise van Outen

Van Outen filming on Waterloo Bridge for a Morrisons commercial ad
BornDenise Kathleen Outen
(1974-05-27) 27 May 1974 (age 38)
Basildon, Essex, England
OccupationActress, singer, television presenter
Years active1986–present
TelevisionThe Big Breakfast
Babes in the Wood
Something for the Weekend
Grease: You're the One that I Want!
Any Dream Will Do
I'd Do Anything
Who Dares, Sings!
Born To Shine
Spouse(s)Lee Mead (m. 2009–present)
ChildrenDaughter (Betsy Mead)
ParentsTed and Kathleen Outen
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Denise van Outen

Van Outen filming on Waterloo Bridge for a Morrisons commercial ad
BornDenise Kathleen Outen
(1974-05-27) 27 May 1974 (age 38)
Basildon, Essex, England
OccupationActress, singer, television presenter
Years active1986–present
TelevisionThe Big Breakfast
Babes in the Wood
Something for the Weekend
Grease: You're the One that I Want!
Any Dream Will Do
I'd Do Anything
Who Dares, Sings!
Born To Shine
Spouse(s)Lee Mead (m. 2009–present)
ChildrenDaughter (Betsy Mead)
ParentsTed and Kathleen Outen

Denise van Outen (born Denise Kathleen Outen, 27 May 1974)[citation needed] is an English actress, singer and television presenter. Her most notable roles to date are as a presenter on The Big Breakfast, and as Roxie Hart in the musical Chicago on both the West End and on Broadway.


Early life

Born Denise Kathleen Outen in Basildon, Essex, she is the youngest of Ted and Kathleen Outen's three children and was brought up a Catholic.[1] She has a brother Terry and sister Jackie.[2][3]

At the age of seven, she began modelling for knitting patterns,[2] and showed an early flair for performing. This resulted in her attending the Sylvia Young Theatre School. In 1986, at age 12,[1] she played Eponine in Les Misérables alongside fellow Sylvia Young student Melanie Blatt[4] (the role paid her school fees[5]), the Anthony Newley directed production of Stop the World - I Want to Get Off, and A Midsummer Night's Dream with the Royal Shakespeare Company.[2]

Early career

As a teenager she had brief roles on a number of television dramas including Kappatoo[6] and The Bill.[7] She also sang with Cathy Warwick in "girl group" Those2Girls, by which time she had become Denise van Outen. She also did backing vocals with Melanie Blatt for the band Dreadzone.[4]

Van Outen has retained her distinct looks gracing the covers of popular men's and women's titles and being voted both Rear of the Year in 1999, and top of a poll to find the most desired "bikini body" in a 2007 poll of readers of Grazia magazine.[8]


1997-98, 2000-01The Big BreakfastPresenter
1999Something for the WeekendPresenter
2001Prickly HeatPresenter
2004Passport to ParadisePresenter
2005This MorningGuest Presenter
2006The National Lottery: Christmas SpecialPresenter
2007Any Dream Will Do!Judge
Grease: You're the One that I Want!Presenter
The Friday Night ProjectGuest Host
2008Backstage at the BritsPresenter
Who Dares, Sings!Co-presenter
Hairspray: The School MusicalPresenter
Who Wants to be a Millionaire?Contestant
2009Hotel BabylonGuest Appearance
2010The 5 O'Clock ShowPresenter
2010, 12LorraineGuest Presenter
2010—The Only Way Is EssexNarrator
2011Born to ShineHead Judge
The Marriage RefPanellist
2012Big Fat Quiz of the 90sPanellist
Strictly Come DancingContestant


1998Jack and the BeanstalkJillTV Movie
1999Tube TalesAlexin segment "Horny"
2000Love, Honour and ObeyMaureen
2007Are You Ready for Love?Rita
2012Run for Your WifeMichelle Smith

Acting career

During her first stint on the Big Breakfast show, she appeared as Jill in ITV1's version of the pantomime Jack and the Beanstalk[9] alongside Julie Walters and Neil Morrissey. Wanting to further develop her acting career, she left The Big Breakfast at the end of 1998. In 1999, she appeared on several episodes of The Bill and The Young Person's Guide To Becoming A Rock Star, the BBC's Murder in Mind short series of crime dramas,[10] and on 2 series of Babes in the Wood with Karl Howman and Samantha Janus.[9]

Van Outen has also appeared in film, initially as Maureen in the crime comedy Love, Honour and Obey. She had a cameo tease as red head Alex, in the low-key Tube Tales in one of the four separate short films, based on the London Underground. Other directors included Ewan McGregor, Jude Law and Jarvis Cocker; while her part in "Horny" was directed by Lost In Space director Stephen Hopkins.[11] Van Outen has played a small role in the romantic comedy Are You Ready For Love?

She first played Roxie Hart on the stage in the hit musical Chicago at the Adelphi Theatre in the West End in April 2001.[12] Her run proved a hit with theatre-goers, selling out for the entire 20 weeks. Unknown in the United States, she reprised her role on Broadway in the spring of 2002, before returning to the show's London version in late April 2002.[13] Late the same year, Van Outen appeared as one of many special guest stars in a performance of The Play What I Wrote once again in London's West End.

In 2003, she returned to the London stage at the Gielgud Theatre in Andrew Lloyd Webber's one-woman show Tell Me On A Sunday,[14][15] which he reworked for her. She was a huge success and the show ran for nearly a year.[16] She then joined the cast of the established ITV sentimental drama Where the Heart Is as one of the lead characters, playing single mother Kim Blakeney, continuing for two series.[17]

Van Outen played Maureen in the 2007 London revival of Rent Remixed directed by William Baker until 22 December.[18] She was forced to cancel some performances due to a throat infection.[19]

In July 2009, van Outen played Mary in Hotel Babylon for the BBC. Her character was at the hotel for a science convention.[20]

In August 2009, van Outen made her Edinburgh Festival Fringe debut[21] in Blondes,[22] a show by Jackie Clune.

Van Outen took over the role of Paulette Bunafonte from Jill Halfpenny in the West End production of Legally Blonde on 25 October 2010.[23] She continued in the role for 6 months.

In 2012, Van Outen was cast in the film of the Ray Cooney farce Run For Your Wife alongside Danny Dyer, Sarah Harding and Neil Morrissey. [24]


It was announced on 10 January 2008 that van Outen would be reunited with Vaughan and become the co-host of Capital Breakfast on Capital Radio, from 4 February 2008.[25]

On 29 July 2008 she decided to quit the show halfway through her contract due to juggling her extensive TV commitments with the early mornings[26]

However, in April 2011 Denise revealed that she left the show because relations between her and Vaughan had soured. She says Vaughan has not spoken to her since.[27]

Fashion ranges

Van Outen has designed two collections thus far for the website, Very, part of the Shop Direct Group. The first collection was a maternity range launched in March 2010 and the second an autumn/winter collection.[28]

Charity work

Van Outen has lent her support to design limited edition T-shirts or vests for the 'Little Tee Campaign' for Breast Cancer Care which donates money for breast cancer research.[29] She continues to support Breast Cancer Charities and Great Ormond Street Hospital.

In 2009 van Outen climbed Mt Kilimanjaro for Comic Relief. Joining her on the climb were Girls Aloud members Cheryl Cole and Kimberley Walsh, Fearne Cotton, Ben Shephard, Gary Barlow, Ronan Keating, Alesha Dixon and Chris Moyles.

In 2010, van Outen along with Fearne Cotton and Alexandra Burke did the Inca Trek in Peru for Breast Cancer Care.[30]

Personal life

Van Outen's personal life has been subjected to the sharp glare of the British tabloid media. In 1996, Van Outen dated Dodgy guitarist Andy Miller. From 1998 to 2001, she dated Jamiroquai lead singer Jay Kay. They were engaged and reported to be on the verge of marriage,[31] but split up in 2001; his album A Funk Odyssey is mostly about their break-up, with the song "Little L" expressing his fight against cocaine addiction during their break up.[32]

From 2003, she dated 'Brown's' club owner Richard Traviss, but split up with him in May 2005,[16] moving out of the Marylebone home they shared and back into her own garden flat in North London.[5] After appearing on Channel 4's The Friday Night Project and describing her first real kiss with fellow Sylvia Young student James Lance, subsequently they dated for a few weeks in 2007.[33] In November 2007, she began dating Any Dream Will Do winner, Lee Mead. She married Mead in April 2009 in the Seychelles. They have a daughter, Betsy who was born on 1 May 2010.[34]


All singles, unless otherwise stated:


  1. ^ a b Frances Hardy (30 August 2008). "It was either quit my job or lose my man, says Denise Van Outen as she quits radio show". Daily Mail. London. Retrieved 2 November 2010. 
  2. ^ a b c A blonde has more fun The Observer – 25 March 2001
  3. ^ "TV Guide biography". 27 May 1974. Retrieved 2 November 2010. 
  4. ^ a b Biography All Saints A to Z. Retrieved 2 January 2006.
  5. ^ a b Denise van Outen: Why heartbreak only makes her stronger[dead link] Sunday Mirror – 6 February 2005
  6. ^ Anita Dobson and Denise Douglas – Retrieved 11 August 2007
  7. ^ "Stars who got a break on The Bill". The Guardian (UK: Guardian Media Group). 26 March 2010. Retrieved 31 August 2010. 
  8. ^ MyVillage – various, from 2007
  9. ^ a b CV at agents PfDRetrieved 11 August 2007
  10. ^ "Drama – Murder in Mind". BBC. Retrieved 2 November 2010. 
  11. ^ "Van Outen's career goes down the Tube" BBC News – 3 December 1998
  12. ^ "Van Outen lights up Chicago" BBC News – 18 April 2001
  13. ^ Ovation for returning Van Outen BBC News – 30 April 2002
  14. ^ Cast List – "Tell Me On a Sunday – retrieved 11 August 2007
  15. ^ The Basildon princess and the King of easy melody – united at last in a West End musical – BBCNews, 2003
  16. ^ a b Denise Van Outen -'I'm getting old and kids think I'm..." Sunday Mirror, 30 November 2003
  17. ^ Van Outen joins Where the Heart Is, 2005 – Retrieved 11 August 2007
  18. ^ "Rent – Denise Van Outen Takes on Maureen" IndieLondon 2007
  19. ^ Denise Van Outen gives costar laryngitis after lesbian kiss Now Magazine, 2007
  20. ^ Mueller, Andrew (24 July 2009). "Watch this". The Guardian (London). Retrieved 1 May 2010. 
  21. ^ "Denise's laugh at blondes | The Sun |Showbiz|TV". The Sun. 9 June 2009. Retrieved 2 November 2010. 
  22. ^ "Blondes | Edinburgh Festival Guide". Retrieved 2 November 2010. 
  23. ^ "Denise Van Outen, Siobhan Dillon and Carley Stenson to Join West End's Legally Blonde". Playbill. 27 August 2010. Retrieved 2 November 2010. 
  24. ^ "Run For Your Wife". Run For Your Wife. Retrieved 31 December 2011. 
  25. ^ "Denise van Outen to become Capital Radio Breakfast Co-host". BBC News. 10 January 2008. Retrieved 12 January 2008. 
  26. ^ "Van Outen quits Capital Radio a half year early". Brand Republic. 29 July 2008. Retrieved 29 July 2008. 
  27. ^ "Denise Reveals Johnny Rift". Sky Living Online. 8 April 2011. Retrieved 8 April 2011. 
  28. ^ Berwin, Lisa (12 February 2010). "Very launches maternity range with Denise van Outen | News". Retail Week. Retrieved 2 November 2010. 
  29. ^ "". 30 September 2010. Retrieved 2 November 2010. 
  30. ^ "Virgin Money Giving | Fundraising | Denise & Fearne’s Trek for Breast Cancer". 24 September 2010. Retrieved 2 November 2010. 
  31. ^ Jay Kay: 'I will marry Denise' BBC News – 19 November 1999
  32. ^ Retrieved 11 August 2007.
  33. ^ "Denise dumps first-kiss guy". Sunday Mirror. Retrieved 2 November 2010. 
  34. ^ "Denise unveils baby Betsy". The Sun. Retrieved 6 May 2010. 

External links