Denise Van Outen is sipping a cup of tea at her home in Chelmsford, Essex, when we catch up with her over the phone. But it’s clear this is the calm before the storm and life’s about to get way more hectic as she’s started training for Dancing On Ice!
Denise tells us she’s “really excited” about being on the show she’s watched over the years with her 10-year-old daughter, Betsy. And the actress clearly feels she has struck gold by being partnered with Matt Evers – who she already knew – telling us, “I adore him.”
Which is lucky – as he’s moved in with Denise, 46, her partner Eddie Boxshall, 45, and Betsy for the duration of their training.
But Denise reveals the one thing she doesn’t want to do while training is to lose weight. After all, she spent lockdown working out with a personal trainer in the knowledge she’d be donning a pair of fishnets for her stint in socially distanced London show Cabaret All-Stars.
Here, she tells us about her friendship with the other DOI contenders, why she has childcare covered thanks to Eddie and Betsy’s dad, her ex-husband Lee Mead, her fear of taking on anything too dangerous and how recording a podcast saved her sanity during lockdown…
Are you nervous about doing Dancing On Ice, Denise?
I don’t think people understand and appreciate how hard it is. I’ve got to work on my balance. I’m one of those people who has a penguin [skating aid] to keep me upright when I go ice-skating. But I can’t be in front of Torvill and Dean on a penguin! Honestly, it’s so much harder than dancing.
It looks it! But are you at least glad you’re partnered with Matt Evers?
I adore Matt. I’m so happy.
And he’s moved in with you for the duration of the show...
Before I knew who my partner was, I’d already said that if it comes to it, whoever I get partnered with could lockdown with me and stay in our spare room. I’m very happy.
Were you a fan of Dancing On Ice before signing up to it?
Betsy and I have always watched it together on a Sunday night as it’s such a great family show. I’ve obviously danced in the past, but I’ve never skated.
Do you know any of your fellow contestants?
Well, I know Jason Donovan because his daughter Jemma is in Neighbours [she plays Harlow Robinson] and I played her mum, Prue, in the show last year. So it’s really nice that I’m doing it with him.
You must know Myleene Klass, too…
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