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Denise Van Outen (born Denise Outen May 27, 1974) is a British television host and stage actress. Her most famous roles have been as a presenter for The Big Breakfast and as Roxy in the musical Chicago on both West End and Broadway.

Van Outen was born Denise Outen (the Van was added later to give her name an interesting twice) in Basildon, Essex. She attended the Sylvia Young Theatre School and as a youngster appeared in the chorus of Les Miserables.

As a teenager she had brief roles on a number of television dramas including Kappatoo. She joined The Big Breakfast as a weather and travel reporter in 1995 and landed the presenting role in 1997. It proved to be her big breakthrough. Her fiesty personality and sexy clothing played off well against the quick wit of Johnny Vaughan and together they recovered audience figures to near record levels. Van Outen gathered legions of male fans.

She took a break from presenting the show towards the end of 1999 but returned in 2000 for a further year-long stint in attempt to boost again the ratings that had tailed off following her departure.

In 1998 she appeared in the sitcom Babes in the Wood alongside Karl Howman and Samantha Janus. The show's reviews were on the poor side. A brighter spot was her role as Jill in a racy TV version of the children's pantomime Jack and the Beanstalk.

Van Outen has also appeared in film; as Maureen in the crime comedy Love, Honour and Obey and the low-key release Tube Tales

Van Outen's first played Roxy Hart on the stage at the Adelphi Theatre in the West End of London in April 2001. The marriage of a sexy show with the equally raunchy Van Outen proved a hit with theatre-goers, selling out for the entireity of her 20 week run. Despite being unknown in the United States, Van Outen reprised her role on Broadway for five weeks in the spring of 2002. She returned to the London version of the show in late April 2002.

Much of Van Outen's personal life has had the sharp glare of the British tabloid media cast upon it. She dated Jamiroquai lead singer Jay Kay in the late 1990s. They were reported to be on the verge of marriage, but it was not to be, and they split up in 2001. As of 2003, she was reported to be attached to lap dance club owner Richard Traviss.

Article text released under CC-BY-SA. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Denise Van Outen" (01-Jul-2004)