Denise Van Outen, Channel 4

Denise Van Outen, Channel 4

Denise Van Outen says family were brought together by lockdown despite 'tears'

Denise Van Outen says family were brought together by lockdown despite 'tears'

3/2/2021 8:31:00 PM

Denise Van Outen says family were brought together by lockdown despite 'tears'

Denise Van Outen has opened up about how her family is closer than ever after the recent lockdown. The star admitted that there were 'tears and heartache' but cherishes the time spent with her loved ones

In fact she has signed up to be locked away on her own as a contestant on Channel 4’s The Celebrity Circle for the Stand Up To Cancer campaign.But in real life the actress and presenter insists that, on balance, the time she was forced to spend indoors with her brood has been much more enjoyable than she expected.

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Denise has been in a romance with Eddie Boxshall for seven years and the pair live together in Essex with her 10-year-old daughter Betsy, who she shares with ex Lee Mead. Eddie, 46, a commodities trader, also has a son and a daughter from a previous marriage.

And while seeing some of her friends’ relationships reach breaking point, she says the past year and three long lockdowns have help them bond as a family.She says: “We’ve had both sides of it, the horrible side where there was a lot of tears and a lot of heartache, then the plus side of it, it’s been the most time that we’ve spent together. headtopics.com

“We’ve both left ex-partners and become a new family but I’ve never really had that time with his daughter and his son because they’re older.“Whereas with Eddie, Betsy’s obviously with me all the time, so it was really nice to really get to know them. It’s been lovely. We’ve had a really nice time.

“Both Eddie and I said we’ve been surprised at how well we’ve got on, we’ve not had any arguments or fall outs.“So we feel like we’re very lucky because I’ve had other friends who’ve come out of lockdown and they’re filing for divorces and trying to find somewhere else to live.”

But that doesn’t mean the couple hasn’t been unaware of the tragic side of the pandemic. Denise blames the pressure on hospitals for Eddie’s best friend having his cancer treatment cancelled.She says: “When Eddie’s best friend first got diagnosed, he’s got a brain tumour, they said they could try and do things to prolong his life.

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You can sign up here.“He had his treatment stopped throughout the lockdown, they just wouldn’t see him, so he hasn’t got long left, unfortunately.”Having had her own cancer scare in 2016 when she found a lump in her breast, Denise is vigilant when it comes to keeping on top of her check ups. Thankfully she got the all clear but the 46-year-old performer says that it had a big impact on how she lives her life.

“I think as I’ve got older I’ve been much more careful about what I eat, exercising, keeping an eye on my body, being in tune with my body,” she confesses.After such an emotional rollercoaster Denise says when she was offered the chance to star in Channel 4’s hit reality show, The Circle, she jumped at it.

The show sees a host of famous faces move into an apartment building and filmed 24/7 as they communicate with each other via the show’s social media network.It’s a popularity contest as the gang – which includes the likes of Loose Women Nadia Sawalha and Kaye Adams, pop star Duncan James and Geordie Shore’s Charlotte Crosby – try to become influencers within the circle to avoid being dumped from the game.

For Denise the show – filmed in September – was a unique opportunity to help people around the country open up about their own cancer concerns. “I think that in doing shows like this, when people watch it, it might be a way of just starting conversation in living rooms, and then that obviously might help,” she says. “Even if it helps one person it’s worth it, isn’t it?” headtopics.com

The show is a warts-and-all look at social media as the stars can play the game pretending to be someone else.In this series, Nadia and Kaye will try and fool the others into thinking they are Gemma Collins and Ru Paul’s Drag Race star Baga Chipz will pretend to be cleaning queen Kim Woodburn. Denise decided to compete as herself admitting she didn’t fancy hiding her identity again following her stint on ITV’s The Masked Singer when she kept fans guessing as she performed dressed as a fox.

Although the stars are game for a laugh, the series shows you never can truly trust who you are speaking to online.Like anyone in the public eye she has her fair share of trolls but Denise refuses to give them the time of day, adding: “I’ll block straight away. “I don’t answer back.”

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Away from social media, Denise’s career is going from strength to strength.Her The Masked Singer stint was such a success she landed a record deal, her debut album is released later this year.“It’s a bit of a mix really because it was a bit more like easy listening, but then we started to get a few big band type numbers in as well.” But is she expecting to top the charts like her showbiz pal Amanda Holden? “No! It’s a passion project for me,” she says .“Even if it bombs it doesn’t really affect me!”

It’s that mentality which means Denise has remained busy thanks to her cabaret show in London and her stint on Dancing On Ice, which was cut short when she broke her shoulder.She knows how lucky she is to still be working. She says: “I’ve had friends in tears. It’s not just actors, you’ve got the staging crew, musicians.”

“I’m hoping they get their theatre world back up and running, it just feels weird not having it around.” Read more: Mirror Celeb »

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