She’s a yummy mummy who’s naughty by nature. We caught up with the TV presenter and 2012 Strictly star, 38, over a few cocktails to find out why having a baby hasn’t put paid to her partying.
Where Paramount Bar, Centrepoint, London
Look at these lovely cocktails! Now you’re a mum do you miss all this?
I feel like I’ve grown out of that whole period, but there’s still a bit of the devil in me. I still like to go out and have a good time, but I don’t go as crazy as I used to. I went to Ibiza last summer with Amanda Byram and three friends, and we stayed out until 6am as I didn’t have to get up in the morning with Betsy. I still love to have a good time but my life has changed and I need to be a responsible mum. I have little bursts of it instead.
You’ve spoken candidly about having a bit of a “mummy meltdown” – how are things now?
I did find the first year really hard as you don’t get a manual. It’s the not being able to communicate even though they are your child. Sometimes I just felt like a c**p mum, like I wasn’t doing it right. But then I discovered that a lot of women feel like that. Now Betsy is two and talking, it’s a lot easier.
Does she make you laugh?
Sometimes she says things in public places that I don’t really want other people to hear, like: “Mummy, I’ve just done a poo!” when you’re standing in the queue of a supermarket. But it’s fun. She’s got her first crush. She likes Harry from One Direction.
Will you be practising your Strictly moves with husband Lee [Mead, 30]?
Probably not! But he’ll be watching me in the audience and bringing Betsy along. The wardrobe geniuses say they’ll make her some tiny sparkly costumes – too cute!
How’s your partnership with James Jordan going?
As soon as we found out we’d been matched, I knew we’d get on because we have the same mischievous sense of humour. But he’s also bossy and dominant and won’t let me get away with anything. I’m used to working with very bossy men – I worked with Johnny Vaughan on The Big Breakfast for five years.
You look amazing and line-free. Have you had any surgery or Botox?
No, I haven’t – I’m only 38. But I’m not going to rule it out. One day, when I’m in my 50s, I might consider it. But I act and things are shot in high-definition now. Actresses get less work if they’ve had surgery. I always thought after having a baby that I’d want to get my bust done, but now I don’t. I’ve still got an ample bosom! Surgery scares me. I’d have to be older and really unhappy with the way I look.
Any beauty secrets?
Being happy is the key, as well as getting lots of rest. And I’m surrounded by fun people. Having a toddler also means I do silly things. Most people would think I’ve lost the plot, yet Betsy thinks I’m cool. I do look after myself, I eat well. I’m not crazy about exercise but I do enough. I’ll power walk a couple of times a week, go cycling, things like that.
You sound very disciplined!
I do have really rough days as well. The rest of it is down to false lashes, hair extensions and a good pair of Spanx!
● Denise Van Outen is an ambassador for the Philips Female Grooming range. See Facebook.com/PhilipsBeautyUK.
Cocktails consumed 4
Admiring glances directed at Denise and her frock Loads
Times we gushed about loving Den on The Big Breakfast 3