Denise Van Outen
A charismatic, energetic and engaging presenter, Denise has become a household name in Britain, thanks to roles on mainstream terrestrial shows such as The Big Breakfast and more recently BBC’s Any Dream Will Do, I’d Do Anything and ITV’s Who Dares Sings! Not content with being a star of the small screen alone, Denise also showed exceptional talent on the stage, appearing in several productions in theWest Endand on Broadway. Leaving no stone unturned Denise has extended her talent to dramas, feature films and radio, and is well established as the UK’s most respected all round female entertainer.
Denise joined Channel 4’s The Big Breakfast team in 1996, quickly landing the main co-presenting role. It proved to be her big breakthrough, with her cheeky charm, direct approach and playful personality bouncing off the quick wit of Johnny Vaughan. Together they recovered audience figures to record levels. Following this huge success she took some time out from the early mornings to star in hit ITV sitcom ‘Babes in the Wood’. Enjoying two successful seasons she returned to The Big Breakfast in 2000 for a further year-long stint in an attempt to boost the ratings, which had tailed off following her departure.
Stage success soon followed for Denise, first playing Roxie Hart in the hit musicalChicagoin the Adelphi Theatre in the West End of London in 2001. The marriage of the classy, stylised show with the equally sophisticated performance of Denise proved a hit with theatre-goers, selling out for the entirety of the lengthy run. Unknown to the United States, she received rave reviews when she reprised her role on Broadway the following year, before returning once again to the West End to satisfy the unending demand.
In 2003, she returned to theLondonstage at the Gielgud Theatre in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s one-woman show Tell Me On A Sunday, which he reworked for her. She was a huge success and the show remained in theWest Endfor longer than initially planned. Making a move back to the small screen she then joined the cast of the popular ITV drama Where The Heart Is as lead character Kim Blakeney, playing the role for two series.
November 2006 saw Denise return to her role as a much loved lead presenter on Sky One’s brand new entertainment show The Race. Set at the infamous Silverstone Circuit a celebrity Girls Team raced against a celebrity Boys Team headed by racing legend David Coulthard and Eddie Irvine. Later that year she presented BBC1’s National Lottery Christmas Special and guest hosted Channel 4’s hit show The Friday Night Project. Her success on Broadway gave her a taste for theUSand Denise headed to LA to front NBC’s Grease: You’re the One That I Want! Her pull back to theUKcame in the form of a personal phone call from Lord Andrew Lloyd Webber.
Denise joined the panel for BBC’s Any Dream Will Do! Which was casting Joseph in ‘Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.’ During filming Denise met her now husband Lee Mead. Happily marrying in Spring 2009. 2007 also saw Denise star in the re-worked musical Rent in the role of Maureen, followed by a return to the BBC in 2008 for their latest talent search, I’d Do Anything. She also reunited with Johnny Vaughan for the Capital Breakfast Show and joined forced with Sky1 to host a new show Hairspray: The School Musical mentoring a group of school kids to put on their own West end Musical Production. As if 2008 wasn’t busy enough she also co-hosted and performed with Michael Buble for ITV’s One Night Only.
In 2009 Denise co-produced and starred in the one woman show Blondes, which premiered at the prestigious Edinburgh Fringe Festival.
Denise recently gave birth to a baby girl, Betsy and launched her own maternity clothing range with Very. Her Signature collection was launched in Summer 2010.
Along with Fearne Cotton and three other celebrity friends, Denise trekked to Machu Picchu in September 2010 to raise money for Breast Cancer Care. The trek was screened in a two-part ITV2 documentary at the end of October last year.
Denise is currently starring as Paulette in the West End production Legally Blonde and has also written a book about her experiences of pregnancy called Bumpalicious, which was published by Headline in March 2011.