Denise van Outen Biography

(Actress, Singer, Dancer and TV Presenter)

Birthday: May 27, 1974 (Gemini)

Born In: Basildon, Essex, England

Denise van Outen is an English actor and TV show host/panelist. She has been a prominent figure in the theater circle of London. Outen was quite young when she made her stage debut, and by the time she was a teenager, she had transitioned to TV. She gained prominence as a TV show host after appearing on The Big Breakfast. She shared a long-term professional association with her co-host on the show, Johnny Vaughan. As a panelist, she has judged several shows related to singing and acting. She has judged beauty pageants, too. Outen eventually delved into films and received mild success. She was a runner-up on the dance reality show Strictly Come Dancing.

Quick Facts

British Celebrities Born In May

Also Known As: Denise Kathleen Outen

Age: 49 Years, 49 Year Old Females


Spouse/Ex-: Lee Mead, Lee Mead (m. 2009–2013)

father: Ted Outen

mother: Kathleen Outen

siblings: Jackie Outen, Terry Outen

children: Betsy Mead

Partner: Eddie Boxshall (2014–)

Born Country: England

Dancers Actresses

Height: 5'6" (168 cm), 5'6" Females

Notable Alumni: Sylvia Young Theatre School

City: Basildon, England

More Facts

education: Sylvia Young Theatre School

Childhood & Early Life

Denise van Outen was born Denise Kathleen Outen, on May 27, 1974, in Basildon, Essex, England, to Ted and Kathleen Outen. She has two older siblings: a brother named Terry and a sister named Jackie.

She developed an interest in acting at the age of 7, when she landed a modeling contract for knitting patterns. She then attended the Sylvia Young Theatre School.

She later added ''van'' to her birth name to make it sound interesting.

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Denise van Outen made her theater debut with the role of Eponine in the 1986 version of the West End musical Les Misérables, staged at the Palace Theatre. She also appeared as Mustardseed in the 1987 Royal Shakespeare Company production of A Midsummer Night's Dream at the Barbican Theatre. She appeared in the Anthony Newley-directed 1989 musical Stop the World - I Want to Get Off at the Lyric Theatre, Shaftesbury Avenue, London.

Denise van Outen made her transition to TV in her teens and appeared in dramas such as Kappatoo. She also sang with Cathy Warwick for the musical group Those2Girls and with Melanie Blatt for the band Dreadzone.

In 1992, she was featured in a government campaign against drunk driving, in which she played a car accident victim.

From 1995 to 1996, Outen presented the short-lived morning youth program Massive!

In 1996, she debuted as a weather and travel reporter on the Channel 4 light entertainment morning show The Big Breakfast. She quit the show in 1998.

Along with hosting The Big Breakfast, Outen appeared on several other TV shows. She appeared as Jill in the ITV1 adaptation of the pantomime Jack and the Beanstalk. She was also seen as Leigh Jackson in the ITV sitcom Babes in the Wood.

After The Big Breakfast, she hosted The Record of the Year (1998 to 2000) and the Channel 4 game show Something for the Weekend (1999 to 2000).

Meanwhile, Outen made her film debut as Alex in a segment of the 1999 collection of short films Tube Tales, named Horny. She also made appearances in the ITV police-procedural drama The Bill and the Channel 4 comedy series The Young Person's Guide to Becoming A Rock Star.

Outen made a comeback to The Big Breakfast in 2000, after Liza Tarbuck quit the show. While she was on the show, its ratings were impressive. However, the ratings went downhill after she left the show in 2001. She resumed performing on stage with the character Roxie Hart in the musical Chicago at the Adelphi Theatre and then at the Shubert Theatre in New York City in 2002.

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Denise van Outen played Maureen in the mock gangster film Love, Honour and Obey (2000) and Debra Squires in the BBC One anthology Murder in Mind (2001). She also hosted shows such as Prickly Heat, The 100 Greatest Musicals (2003), Passport to Paradise (2004), The National Lottery: Christmas Special (2006), Backstage at the Brits (2008), Who Dares, Sings! (co-presented), and Hairspray: The School Musical (2008).

In 2003, she performed in the one-woman show Tell Me on A Sunday at the Gielgud Theatre in London. Director Andrew Lloyd Webber had created the version specifically to cast Outen.

On TV, she appeared as single mother Kim Blakeney in two seasons of the ITV drama Where the Heart Is.

In 2005, Outen co-hosted the ITV show This Morning with Richard Bacon. The following year, she was offered to judge a BBC reality show aimed at casting a young girl as Maria in The Sound of Music. However, she had to decline the offer, as she was in the U.S. back then, hosting the NBC show Grease: You're the One that I Want!

Back in London, Outen started to revive her TV career.

The following year, she presented The Friday Night Project, judged the Miss World pageant in Warsaw (Poland), and guest-appeared in The Charlotte Church Show.

In 2007, Outen was on the panel of the BBC talent hunt show Any Dream Will Do! and the BBC One spinoff How Do You Solve A Problem Like Maria? She had a brief appearance in the romantic comedy Are You Ready for Love?

In October, she appeared as Maureen in the William Baker-directed London revival of Rent Remixed. She also topped a poll of readers conducted by Grazia magazine.

As announced on January 10, 2008, Denise van Outen was to co-host the Capital Radio breakfast show with her former The Big Breakfast colleague Johnny Vaughan. She, however, left the show in July due to her hectic schedule.

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In 2009, Outen appeared as Mary in the BBC One drama Hotel Babylon, attended the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in Blondes for the first time, and hosted The 5 O'Clock' Show for a week. In 2010, she began her stint as the narrator of the ITVBe reality series The Only Way Is Essex and played Paulette Bonafonté in the West End stage production of Legally Blonde at the Savoy Theatre.

In March 2010, Outen launched a maternity wear range for the website Very, owned by the Shop Direct Group. Her second collection for the website was a range of autumn/winter wear.

In 2012, Denise van Outen participated in the 10th season of Strictly Come Dancing, with her dance partner James Jordan. The duo finished as the runners-up.

After serving as the guest presenter of the Channel 4 live broadcast show Sunday Brunch in 2013, Outen made her debut as a panelist on the ITV talk show Loose Women. She earned a regular stint on the show in 2017 and continued for a year.

Outen played Karin Smart in the BBC soap opera EastEnders. From 2018 to 2019, she hosted Ireland's Got Talent. In 2019, Outen played Prudence Wallace in 19 episodes of the Australian soap opera Neighbours.

In 2020, she participated in the reality series The Masked Singer. Outen has been hosting Matalan Presents: The Show since 2016.

Outen is a columnist for the entertainment gossip column Denise the Menace for the supplement titled The Source of the weekly newspaper The Sun.

Personal Life

In 1991, Denise van Outen was in a relationship with controversial pop star Gary Glitter. In 1996, she dated guitarist Andy Miller.

From 1998 to 2001, she was in a relationship with Jay Kay, the lead singer of Jamiroquai. The two also got engaged. However, they broke up before their scheduled wedding.

Outen was in a live-in relationship with nightclub owner Richard Traviss from 2003 to May 2005. They patched up briefly in 2007.

Denise van Outen married Lee Mead in April 2009, in Seychelles. Lee Mead is popularly known as the winner of Any Dream Will Do. They had a daughter, Betsy, on May 1, 2010. The two divorced in 2013, due to their hectic professional lives.

Outen supported the Little Tee Campaign for Breast Cancer Care by contributing to its collection of T-shirts and vests. She also supports the Great Ormond Street Hospital and Comic Relief. In 2009, she climbed Mount Kilimanjaro for a fundraising event of Comic Relief.

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