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Author (Amanda Green), Blogger, Life Writing Workshop coach, BACP Counsellor Dip., Aerial Photographer and Orangutan, Animal and Mental Health campaigner in Essex

Denise van Outen

Denise van Outen was born Denise Outen in 1974 and lived in Basildon, Essex. She added the ‘van’ later on to make her name more interesting and also because she has Dutch roots. She is a television host and stage actress, with her most famous roles being a presenter for ‘The Big Breakfast’ and as ‘Roxie’ in the musical ‘Chicago’, which has played both Broadway and West End.

When she was a youngster, she appeared in the chorus of ‘Les Miserables, and she trained at the Sylvia Young Theatre School. Initially, her stage name was Denise Douglas.

In her teenage years, she has small parts on a few television dramas – one of which was ‘Kappatoo. Later on, in 1996, became a weather and travel reporter for Channel 4’s ‘The Big Breakfast’, and in 1997 she became co-presenter, with funny man, Johnny Vaughan. Denise was able to utilize her sex appeal and cheeky Essex Girl personality and they worked well together, so the show became a big hit, until she left the set in 1998 for a break. She did, however, return to the show in 2000 for one year, to regain the waining audience figures.

1998/1999 brought appearances in episodes of ‘The Bill’, ‘The Young Person’s Guide To Becoming A Rockstar’ and in the sitcom ‘Babes in the Wood’. She also played the role as Jill in a TV version of the children’s pantomime ‘Jack and the Beanstalk’ and a further increase in her popularity came in 1999, when she won ‘Rear of the Year’.

April 2001 saw Denise first play Roxie Hart of the hit West End show, ‘Chicago’ at the Adelphi Theatre. She did a 20 week run and the show was a sellout – Denise very much suited the sexy show and was a hit. She then played the part over in Broadway for 5 weeks in 2002 and received excellent reviews.

She then returned to the show and later on, in 2003, she became a huge success acting in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s one-woman show ‘Tell me on a Sunday’ at the Gielgud Theatre. The show was even re-written for her and it ran for just under a year, followed by a 10-month tour in the UK in 2004.

Denise returned to TV, co-presenting ITV1’s ‘This Morning’ (with Richard Bacon) over the Summer of 2004. She then played a lead character for one series only, in ‘Where the Heart is’ and hosted one show of the ‘Friday Night Project’.

Van Outen then decided to seek fame in America and has recently been on the panel for the show, ‘Any Dream will do’, presented an American show, ‘Grease: You’re the One that I want!’ and was a guest on Channel 4’s the ‘Charlotte Church Show’ she was also one of the judges at ‘Miss World’ in Poland.

Other info……

Denise has a colourful history of dating – having had relationships with Gary Glitter (early 1990’s), ‘Jamiroquai’s Jay Kay (late 1990’s) and a 3 year relationship with lap dance club owner, Richard Traviss, in 2003.

As an update to this page, Denise has now married Lee Mead in a beautiful secret ceremony.  good on them for keeping it private – it should be a special day for two people, not the whole of the World!   Best of luck Denise.

If you have any updates or photos for Denise, please send them or comment below!

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