EXCLUSIVE: Denise Van Outen talks about her pregnancy, becoming a mum and why she'll never "do a Jordan"!
Hey Denise – good to see you looking so well! And you’ve hardly put on any pregnancy weight at all!
It is quite a neat little thing isn’t it. I’m lucky because I haven’t put weight on my legs and bum – it’s just my big old boobs and belly.
Tell me about your new maternity range for Very.co.uk – how did it come about?
I got involved with Very partly because of Fearne Cotton – when we were up Kili in a two-man tent. And she was telling me about her range and I got to meet the people. She said I should do it and we had a chat. I love clothes and I was surprised when she said she actually designed all the pieces herself. I was like: “Come on, surely not.” But we actually do. It was through her that I met the team. Initially I was going to talk to them about doing something else and then I got pregnant. I want an ongoing relationship relationship with them. I’d like to do mums on a school run.
Now you’re married to Lee Mead – your life couldn’t be more different to the last time we met.
My life has changed in every way possible. I’ve gone from being a single woman to being a pregnant married lady. And it’s been quick.
Did you think you’d fall pregnant so quickly?
I honestly thought it would take a long time to get pregnant. That’s what I was told and it happened quite quickly. It was a bit of a shock but a nice surprise. Hopefully I’ll have this baby and we’d then like to pop out the second one straight away afterwards. I’m going to do two and stop. I feel like I have to consider my age.
The only reason I felt my biological clock is ticking is because I went and had a full body MOT and I was told that and it panicked me. I just went for a check up and they said after: “Have you thought about this.” I mean I’ll be 36 when the baby comes in five weeks and now did feel like the right time.
Nowadays you can afford to wait a little longer though…..
My mum had my sister when she was 21 and that was normal in the 60s but these days you leave it later. I didn’t want to leave it too late and it’s stressful. The older you get the more problems you risk with your pregnancy. With all sorts of problems like the tests for downs and the chances are increased.
Did you get nervous going for your scan?
I was worried going for a scan each time – like anybody is. It was so nerve wracking hoping that everything was OK. It’s a nice time to have a baby because so many of my friends are having them.
And you’ve been eternally broody!
Honestly though, if I’d have met the right person 10 years ago I would have done it then. I’ve been eternally broody. I always felt the guys before were not the right ones to have a kid with. There was always something wrong with the relationship. A lot of women do this – you try and make things right and you create this thing in your head that things will get better or change. It doesn’t. You just know when you know.
And how’s the pregnancy been?
I’ve really enjoyed being pregnant. I’ve not been sick – I’ve had the odd little cold. I’ve been in good health. I’ve not had spots or sickness or anything. I’ve been really lucky.
I was worried about it of course. I’m sure every woman worries. I’ve been really really lucky with pregnancy. But it seems to suit me. I’ve carried on as normal – I’m still working and running around to meetings and training with Nicky. I’m doing power walking – 50 minutes or half hour. Three times a week.
And how’s your weight doing?
I’ve weighed myself and I’ve only got five weeks to go and I’ve probably put on just under two stone. Now I’m at the stage where the bump is going to go mad. I’m covering myself in Bio Oil non-stop and making sure there’s no stretch marks. Lee’s been touring so he’s only home every Sunday and we sit down and watch Pineapple Dance Studios and then he’s off again. He’s joining the cast of Wicked in the West End for nine months.
Above: Fearne Cotton – also a designer for www.very.co.uk shows up to show Denise some support!
And you know the sex?
Yes, we’re having a girl. We call it Shakira right now. I thought it would be funny and have been winding Lee up saying we’d call her Beyonce or Shakira. We’ve chosen the name already – it’s quite traditional and not too crazy at all.
Have you changed your name to Denise Van Mead?
I haven’t changed my name to Denise Van Mead – people know me as Outen so it would be too difficult. Ion my private life I’m Mead. It’s easier when you have to query a house bill – they don’t rip me off now. I love being called Mrs Mead.
And will you be working with Very.co.uk again after the birth?
I’m going to be doing my next range with Very two weeks after the baby is due and I’ll be a working mum. And I have a TV project for July with Channel Four. One of the teatime shows.
What happened with the BBC and the Wizard of Oz show – were you axed for being preggers?
The one thing I will say is that I was in talks about doing it and so was John. And literally the last minute it was off – and it wasn’t my choice. I would have been able to do it. If you feel in good health then it can work. Myleene Klass presented the One Show and went into labour on air. Holly Willoughby was back doing the X factor a week after or two weeks whatever. Anyone could have an accident or something or be ill and miss one show. That’s just one of those things. Being pregnant isn’t something that can hold me back.
I got a really nice letter from Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber this week actually and the thing is that a lot of it’s been blown out of proportion. I have to be very careful about what I say. I have a very good relationship with the BBC and working with them in the future is something that I want to happen. I’m meeting them soon about something else.
My side of it went like this; I was in talks with them about doing it, it was at the final hurdle that something went wrong and they changed their mind and got a new panel with a new line-up. We were definitely talking to them about doing it and I actually found out that I wasn’t doing it through the press. I wasn’t spoken to. You know what though; things happen for a reason and the other good thing is that I am having a baby and I do have other things lined up.
Andrew sent me a lovely letter saying he was supporting me and these things happen. It’s a shame because I love the show and I am gutted. I won’t lie, I love that show more than anything. They offered me a lesser role in the end that obviously wasn’t right for me to take. I must say Charlotte is a great choice for that show. She looks amazing and she’ll be outspoken as a judge. And a great mentor to the girls. It could have probably been handled better.
OK, back to birthing. Are you scared?
I’m petrified about the birth. I’m going to try to go naturally with the birth but I want the epidural and the drugs. Everything they have and I’ll push as hard I can.
If you do have a caesarean then they say to rest for six weeks but you are back on your feet then you are fine.
And how excited is your husband Lee Mead about the baby arriving?
Lee’s so excited about the birth and having a baby. We actually already know what she looks like because we’ve had so many 3-D scans. I’m obsessed with the scans. I keep going to have another one. I want to see how she’s grown by the day. He finishes his current play a week before my due date and then he goes straight into Wicked. So the week that I’m due to give birth he opens in Wicked.
And how will it work with your private life and work lives? You’re both busy people!
Our baby will fit into our lives and I’ll never be one of those women that stays home all day watching Alan Titchmarsh and Loose Women. I’m out and about and will be a working mum. I’ve spent a long time building up this career and I enjoy it. A baby isn’t the end of the world and we can carry on doing a job like TV. It will be a juggling act but it’ll be fine.
Have you already planned how you will drop the pounds after the birth?
I’ve thought about losing baby weight. Nicky Waterman is my trainer and she has a plan for me to get back into shape. But there’s not a rush. I’ll just get on with it. I’ll be working out within a couple of weeks of birth. I’ve not pigged out hugely. I’ve not had huge cravings – apart from Nandos. Oh, and hot chocolate. I can’t wait to take Shakira Beyonce Mead to Nandos for a Peri-Peri chicken. Ha ha.
Is your diet super healthy anyway?
My diet is pretty healthy. Breakfast is bran flakes with skimmed milk to keep me regular – so many women suffer with constipation in pregnancy. Then for lunch I now have my biggest meal of the day and I have a jacket potato or a bowl of pasta. I tend to have all my carbs then. And then in the evening I have something smaller and have a Covent Garden soup or some pitta and dips or some grilled fish and loads of salad. Two pieces of fruit every day too. Occasionally I have a treat – a Nandos.
Did you want a little girl? Or a boy?
I’m not worried about having a boy and then a girl. I really thought I was having a boy and they say they come out front and everyone said I was. My friend’s single at the moment and she is obsessed with psychics and I knew what I was having and she went: “Oh, you’re having a boy.” And we walked out and she’d been telling my friend she was going to be meeting the man of her dreams and I was like: “I hate to break it to you but oh no you’re not!”
Will you be showing off your child with a photo shoot?
I won’t be doing mag deals for the newborn. The last thing I want is for her to be plastered on a mag cover in a shoot. So we’ll do one shot of the three of us to put out to the papers and if they want to use it then we’ll donate money to charity.
Would you ever do a fly on the wall show like Jordan’s TV show?
I’d never do a show like Jordan’s TV show. I’m obsessed with watching them and love them but I couldn’t do it. She doesn’t like me though – she thinks I fancy Peter for some reason. It’s really weird but I really don’t. I’ve loved her show since it begun too so it’s annoying.
Log onto www.very.co.uk to see Denise’s new maternity range.