SHE has been refreshingly candid about the ups and downs of her romances over the years – and now Denise van Outen says she has never felt better after finding love again.
The 49-year-old actress and singer, who had a shock split from ex Eddie Boxshall 18 months ago, is head over heels for model Jimmy Barba, 55, after being introduced by pals.
Denise van Outen says she has never felt better after finding love again[/caption]
Denise had a shock split from ex Eddie Boxshall 18 months ago[/caption]
And in an exclusive chat with The Sun, Denise says she did not feel the need to vet her new man as she knew those closest to her would never set her up with someone she could not trust after her rocky love life.
“Duncan actually knew him already as he used to be a professional dancer so he got his seal of approval straight away.
“Jimmy used to dance with All Saints and Diana Ross when he was on the circuit in the Nineties.
“When I told him, straight away Dunc was like, ‘Oh, I love Jimmy, he’s great’.
“I feel like they fully vetted him for me. But him getting on with my friends wasn’t really a concern this time as I was introduced to Jimmy through Shaznay [Lewis] from All Saints.
“I’ve known those girls since I went to Sylvia Young Theatre School and the fact I was introduced to him via my friends who I have known for the best part of my life, I didn’t think I needed to get him vetted. I knew they were never going to set me up with someone who I couldn’t trust.
“I knew they wouldn’t do that to me and he knows too many people.
“Everywhere I go somebody knows him. He’s out of the industry now but he models still.
‘Big inclusive party’
After her former relationship broke down, rather than sitting feeling sorry for herself, Denise says she kept herself busy with work, launching multiple businesses and a new career as a DJ.
In June, Denise took to the decks at the Isle of Wight Festival, with her new man proudly watching on.
The West End star said: “I always knew it would be alright eventually.
“Of course it would because I never did anything wrong. I am also a very positive person. I’ve been keeping myself busy and I’ve had such a brilliant year.
“I have started DJ-ing and I started doing all the festivals. It has taken me abroad.
“And I set up a new business, Discolicious, which are brunches all over the country.
“It’s this big inclusive party. It was inspired by being on Steph’s Packed Lunch on TV and being in this big inclusive environment.
“Steph is really like that and she makes everyone feel welcome.
“I am not one to sit there and dwell on things.
“I just pick myself up and turn it into something positive and there is so much I have to be thankful for.
“I have met so many amazing people via DJ-ing and I am having a right laugh.
Denise is head over heels for model Jimmy Barba, 55, after being introduced by pals[/caption]
“What you find is that when times are hard, that is when people reach out. You see the people who get it.
“I love what I do for a living. It is amazing but there are obviously moments when you don’t want to be in the public eye as you just want to deal with it personally, but the support you get from your friends is incredible.
“That is where we all pull together as we all get it.”
Denise said: “I feel very, very grateful that I get to do all the things I get to do but I think it’s because I love it.
“If I do something, I don’t just do it half-heartedly. Even with the DJ thing, some people pre-programme their sets and press a button and pretend, but I literally taught myself how to mix properly.
“I have had some shocking situations when things aren’t working as I was thrown in at the deep end but that is how I thrive.
“I never drink when I am working. It’s fun as I get to watch everyone get wasted and I am stone-cold sober.”
Keen to give back, Denise’s latest project is a single in collaboration with M&S for Macmillan Cancer Support.
Out now, all profits from That’s What Friends Are For with Duncan will go to the charity.
As the headlining partner of Macmillan’s Coffee Morning this month, M&S will donate 5p from every cup of coffee and slice of cake and ten per cent of every afternoon tea enjoyed in an M&S cafe.
A special Macmillan Cancer Support Colin The Caterpillar cake is also available, with a ten per cent donation going to the charity.
Explaining why the project is so close to her heart, Denise said: “Duncan was close to Sarah Harding from Girls Aloud, who died of breast cancer in 2021, and I lost both my grandparents and they were both cared for by Macmillan.
“And I have another family member who has been diagnosed with cancer. It’s such a great and underfunded charity and they need all the help they can get.
“We actually wanted one of the great nurses to be with us on the single photoshoot but they are so overstretched and dedicated to their work they couldn’t make it.
“Cancer has sadly touched us all but what I’ve seen is, as you start to get older, you hear of more people falling ill.
“You get more messages from friends saying. ‘Oh, have you heard?’ about another friend. It does seem to be everywhere.
“What the Macmillan nurses did for my family, they were incredible.
“They were a massive support not just for my grandparents but also in the support they gave us. They make it feel like a safe environment for everyone.”
Turning her attention to Duncan, Denise says that he has been there for her over the years.
She said: “We have been friends for 25 years.
“I was recording an album and I wanted to put a duet on the album so he seemed perfect.
“We are quite mischievous together in the studio. I am always saying to him, ‘Do you think we will ever grow up?’. But I don’t think we will.
“We have been there for each other through our ups and downs in our personal life and we have really supported each other. It’s nice. Who doesn’t love a gay best friend?
“We have known each other for so long and our paths have always crossed. We are very similar. We both do all the same things in terms of our careers.
“We are looking at doing a tour together next year through theatres.
“But right now we want to put this single out and raise as much money as we can for Macmillan.”
Denise says she did not feel the need to vet her new man as she knew those closest to her would never set her up with someone she could not trust[/caption]
September 11, 2023 at 12:30AM
from The Sun