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Ten Things You Never Knew About Denise Van Outen

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Ten Things You Never Knew About Denise Van Outen

David Fisher / Rex Features

After rising to fame with her saucy shenanigans on The Big Breakfast (not to mention her ample cleavage), Denise Van Outen shocked fans and critics by suddenly reinventing herself as a serious performer. The last few years have seen the ex-ladette headlining musicals, presenting TV shows and reuniting with sparring partner Johnny Vaughan on Capital Radio, all the while cutting an altogether calmer and more professional figure. But have we really seen the back of her infamous wild side? As she dispenses advice to more West End wannabes on talent search I'd Do Anything, we present ten fascinating facts about the Basildon bombshell-turned-serious actress.

1. Denise was born Denise Outen, the youngest of three children to a security guard dad and child carer mum.

2. Denise started her career modelling knitwear patterns at the age of seven. She recalls: "I'd hold the skirt so that it looked like it fitted me. Because I thought: yeah, £70 in the bank, ker-ching."

3. After a brief period going by the moniker "Denise Douglas", Denise added the "Van" to make her name more interesting and acknowledge her Dutch ancestry.

4. Denise's classmates at the ubiquitous Sylvia Young Theatre School included Emma Bunton, Ashes To Ashes star Keeley Hawes, Moving Wallpaper actor James Lance and the Appleton sisters.

5. Denise shared her first kiss with Lance, but their youthful romance went pear-shaped after a classmate started spreading rumours. She reveals: "Basically I heard that [James] said I didn't have any tits, which was quite hurtful at 14 as I was a bit of a late developer." She later found out that he had been told she was "a crap kisser". That rumour-monger has a lot to answer for!

6. 17-year-old Denise dated convicted child sex abuser Gary Glitter, then 51, after she appeared in his 1991 comeback tour. Hmm, no comment.

7. What does Denise have to say about flashing her bra at Prince Charles's back during a charity concert in 1999? "My mate said to me I dare you to flash so I just did," she explains. "Prince Charles's mouth just dropped. The most embarrassing fact was that I was wearing my Marks and Spencer's bra and not a flash one."

8. Denise is adamant that she didn't enter showbiz because she craves the adulation. She reveals: "I love my job because I like showing off and singing and dancing. I don't do it because I need affirmation or because I'm insecure, which is why a lot of people are driven in this industry."

9. Denise reckons all women should have boobs like hers - even if they have to pay for them! "I’ve heard of plastic surgeons who offer the 'Denise Van Outen bust’," she says. "People should go and buy my breasts.”

10. How is Denise coping with her hectic schedule? "I find it really hard," she admits. "I'm doing a lot of exciting things. I'd like to slow down, but I don't think I can. I'm scared of what life would be without it. I get up at 4.15, and I'm still filming at 11pm. I've got a bad back. But I'm having a brilliant time."

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