As a teen I grew up adoring every minute of The Big Breakfast, and part of the enjoyment was the chemistry and fun-loving nature of the two presenters, Johnny Vaughan and Denise Van Outen.
Hell, they even did a Saturday night telly show together and recorded a near chart-topping cover of Especially For You for Children in Need.
Well, I was saddened to hear this week that the pair have fallen out – there’s no working relationship, no friendship and no contact.
It turns out they haven’t spoken since Denise upped and left her role as Johnny’s sidekick on Capital FM’s breakfast show last August. Even after Den wed Joseph star Lee Mead there was zilch contact and no message of congratulations from La Vaughan.
My mole in the know reveals: “Johnny seemed to resent the fact she was brought in to help him out on his Capital show and Denise was far from comfortable being there.
“His listener ratings were dwindling at the time so the radio station wanted a sidekick to attract new listeners, and Denise was perfect. But Johnny had a problem with it from the start. He didn’t seem to like working with Denise again and she was baffled by how much he’d changed from their glory days.
“Staff at Capital said he would barely acknowledge her. She says he would even put his hand up in front of her face as a signal to get her to stop talking. She tried to resolve things early on but he was having none of it.”
Having just met her future hubby Lee Mead (and struggling to cope with the early starts and her other work on Any Dream Will Do), Denise quickly realised she wasn’t enjoying her time with Johnny and so cut her losses and left after five months.
My mole tells me Denise texted him when she’d left but he didn’t bother replying.
The source says: “Denise still can’t believe Johnny’s cut off all contact. She knows she was wrong to go back to Capital because she had too much on her plate and wanted to put her relationship first.”
Thankfully Johnny has since found new on-air chemistry with Lisa Snowdon and ratings have shot through the roof at Capital FM.
Now I want to be the person to put out an olive branch to the warring pair. Call each other by 6pm tonight, guys, and be happy once more. Life’s too short – and in your glory days you were the best TV partnership. Do it for Jacko – after all he did say: “I’m a lover, not a fighter.”