Denise Van Outen has spoken for the first time about why she quit Channel 5′s OK! TV just three days before it was due to begin.
In an emotional interview the star told me: “The simple facts are this – three days before we were due to start on air I had a meeting with the boss of the channel and I made my decision not to continue with the show following that.
“This would have really upset me before I became a mother. But I based my decision around how working for that person was going to make me feel on a daily basis. And I knew that working for him, I wasn’t going to be happy. That was enough for me to realise I needed to get out. I won’t let anyone make me feel a certain way. I can’t work in an environment like that and I want to work with nice people.”
The star, currently coming to the end of her West End run playing Paulette in Legally Blonde, admits she’s secretly happy about the way things have panned out – because now she can spend more time being a mother to ten-month-old Betsy.
But Den freely admits the biggest lesson she’s had to learn as a mother is not being selfish.
“I really struggled when Betsy was born,” Denise reveals. “People always tried to make it sound all rosy. But it wasn’t.
“I struggled because I’ve been selfish for such a large chunk of my life and such a career minded person – so being a mother wasn’t easy for me. My career was always the most important thing. It’s been so hard to realise that I’m not the number one thing in my life – Betsy is.
“I had loads of meltdowns at the beginning. Some of my friends have been immediate earth mothers – but I’ve not been like that. I was the new mum crying my eyes out at two in the afternoon screaming down the phone at my friends. And that was a real problem. Fortunately I got through it.”
And there were far more worrying aesthetic issues for Denise, who’s married to West End star Lee Mead, to deal with after giving birth to her pride and joy.
Den was forced to ditch her entire shoe collection after pregnancy caused her feet to go from a size five to a size six. Gritting her teethshe revealed: “Not one pair fit afterwards. It was heartbreaking. For a woman like me, that was devastating. I gave most of them to the cast of Legally Blonde.”
The star is now promoting the Comic Relief Red Nose Day campaign with Walkers and waxing comedians including Stephen Fry, Al Murray, Jimmy Carr and Frank Skinner over the next few days. Denise explained she has quite a knack for salon work – including the now infamous vagina jewel treatment, vajazzling. Denise says: “I can do a vajazzle actually. I did one last week. I went to a beauty salon and did one on someone. I’ve never had one myself though – it wouldn’t look too nice because of having a caesarean. I guess I could vajazzle along the scar line. I’ve really enjoyed waxing you today. In fact I’m considering jacking it all in and opening a beauty salon. I really think Denise Tan Outen salon has a ring to it.” I couldn’t agree more.
Denise Van Outen is the Walkers waxer in the Clash of the Comics campaign for Red Nose Day, which sees Jimmy Carr, Stephen Fry, Al Murray and Frank Skinner battle it out with their own crisp flavours to raise over £1 million and avoid a public waxing. For more info go to www.walkers.co.uk.