I have to give my boyfriend a private dance at home to keep him happy, says Denise van Outen

AT three years away from her 50th birthday, Denise Van Outen has a body which makes her the envy of women half her age.

The telly star has worked hard to stay in shape and now proudly shows off her gains every week on stage in her sexy stage show.

And while fans flock to see her sizzling performances at Proud Cabaret Embankment in London, Denise says she often surprises herself when she dons her sexy black corset and stockings.

She laughs: “Sometimes when I do it I think, ‘Hark at me – 47 and still getting into my fishnets!’ But I absolutely love it.”

Not that her boyfriend of seven years, commodities trader Eddie Boxshall, gets to enjoy the spoils.

Denise says: “He does love the outfit but the only thing he gets annoyed about is that when I leave the venue I get changed to drive home.

“So I will slip into my tracksuit bottoms and sometimes I even put my slippers on.

“I walk through the front door and he says to me, ‘Well, you didn’t look like that an hour and a half ago.’”

So will she finally give in and treat Eddie to a private performance?

“Yeah, I think I will have to,” she says. “Otherwise he’ll go mad.”

He does love the outfit.

Denise was a pin-up in the Nineties thanks to her sexy photo shoots for lads’ mags — which she has said this year she has “no regrets” about.

As co-host of The Big Breakfast, she became a household name and went on to have a glittering TV career with a number of high-profile presenting roles.

‘Eddie is hardcore. He lifts very heavy weights’

She even had a short stint in EastEnders in 2015, playing glamorous businesswoman Karin Smart.

Denise has also competed on Strictly Come Dancing, Dancing On Ice and The Masked Singer, where she competed in the guise of Fox, dressed in a skin-tight mirrored costume.

But for Denise, her passion lies on the stage.

Following her breakthrough role as Roxie Hart in Chicago in 2001, she was transformed into a West End superstar — selling the show out for five months in the UK before taking it to Broadway the following year.

And it was her love of the stage that led Denise to join the Proud Cabaret line-up in March last year.

Previously Denise performed alone during the variety show, which she hosts and curates, but now she is joined by performers who she admits keep her on her toes.

She says: “I’ve got dancers now which I couldn’t have before because of the Covid rules. So I am now surrounded by 20-year-olds in really revealing costumes.

“I am 47, so I need to look after myself and make a bit more of an effort than I used to in my twenties and thirties. But I am happy to do that because I feel better for it.”

For Denise, the positive changes included going vegan ahead of the first lockdown with Eddie, when they decided to overhaul their lifestyles.

I enjoy training much more than I thought I ever would. I get a real buzz — it makes me feel so much better.

She met him through friends in 2014 and they moved in together in 2019, with the couple later becoming a regular fixture on Celebrity Gogglebox.

Together they co-parent her daughter Betsy, ten, from Denise’s marriage to Lee Mead, and Eddie’s daughter from a previous relationship. Denise explains: “Pre-lockdown both Eddie and I did five months of being vegan.

"We wanted to change our eating habits. So when we went into that first lockdown it was the amazing weather and everyone around us was having barbecues.

“We both decided if we are doing a barbecue we are only going to eat meat once a month.

“I was worried about my daughter as she likes meat and she is quite fussy but she didn’t even notice.

“Eddie’s daughter is vegetarian so we introduced some bits to Betsy.

“Eddie would make spaghetti bolognese and he swapped out the meat for Quorn. Betsy didn’t even notice.

“I’ve felt so many health benefits. Once you have adapted it becomes like second nature.

“I feel it’s helped my digestion and I feel lighter.

“My treat at the end of every month is having a roast with meat. Or we’ll do a big barbecue. With my training too, it goes hand in hand with eating this way.”

As well as sticking to a cleaner diet, Denise says she has fallen in love with keeping fit.

She now works out with a personal trainer a few times a week to keep her in shape after cancelling her gym membership.

Denise says: “I enjoy training much more than I thought I ever would. I get a real buzz — it makes me feel so much better.

'I try to walk everywhere if I can'

“We built an assault course in the garden during the last lockdown and it is filled with things I like to do.

“I have got my own weights and I enjoy doing them. I have been able to keep it up because it feels really fun.”

Like Denise, Eddie enjoys keeping fit — but Denise concedes the Essex businessman leaves her for dust when it comes to their workouts.

She adds: “We can’t train together.

“To train with Eddie is hardcore. He lifts very heavy weights and he trains every single day.

“His level of fitness and training is well beyond what I do.

“If I do weights I vary it up but Eddie’s is just too hard. I could not go to the gym with him because he pushes his body to the limit.

“He picks up weights that are so heavy his thighs will be shaking. That is not for me. I’ll swing some kettle bells and do some arm weights but I am not pushing myself to that level.”

Denise has worked hard to get her fitness back up following the last series of Dancing On Ice in January this year.

She was an early favourite to win the skating competition but was forced to quit early following a nasty fall which resulted in fracturing her shoulder in three places.

Following a period of recovery, Denise is clearly feeling back to her best and reveals that she kept up her fitness levels despite what she had gone through.

I don’t take lifts if I don’t have to. I just walk up the stairs. For me it was simple and small adjustments that made a big difference.

She says: “I have made my exercise more about long walks and cycling. I really enjoy walking and I try to walk everywhere if I can.

“I don’t take lifts if I don’t have to. I just walk up the stairs. For me it was simple and small adjustments that made a big difference.”

Bosses at ITV have left the door open for Denise should she wish to return to the competition.

But while Denise has previously stated she would go back, she says she would love to sign up to I’m A Celebrity . . . Get Me Out Of Here! — just as long as the reality TV show is not in its temporary UK location of Gwrych Castle.

She says: “I do get asked to do it but there is no chance I can do it this year because I am at Proud. I will do it at some point. I think I’m A Celebrity for my 50th birthday would be something nice to do.

“But it has to be Australia for me, not Wales — as much as I love the Welsh. I am a lot more jungle vibes than castle vibes, to be honest.”

  • To encourage Brits to try a meat-free picnic this summer, actress and presenter Denise Van Outen is partnering with Quorn to deliver meat-free picnics for free via the Deliveroo app in London and Manchester on Saturday 7th and Sunday 8th August 2021, for 1p delivery while stocks last.

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