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Denise Van Outen on love, motherhood and the one thing she's dreading about the future

Denise Van Outen on love, motherhood and the one thing she's dreading about the future

Friday, September 23, 2016 - 10:00

The gorgeous Denise Van Outen chatted to Mumazine's Editor Sam Mann at the Beko Tea Party. We talked work, kids, love, friendship, fame, food and fears for the future.

Denise at the Beko tea party

So, Denise, tell us a bit about what you have going on...

It's been a really busy period. I spent most of the summer writing a film with my friend James. I've always wanted to write a film and I did a one-woman play on the West End last year (Some Girl I Used to Know), which was well received, so I decided to turn the show into a film. We've adapted it so that the characters from the show come to life. The film is loosely based on my play but has taken a bit of a turn and is about friendships, women in their 40s and how they view their lives.

I'm just about to start rehearsals for the musical Big, which is being produced by the same people who did Elf in the West End, so you can expect full on jazz hands and razzmatazz. I can't wait to start! I'm starring in it with Jay McGuiness and Diane Vickers. 

It's great to see Betsy here and having fun too. She's full of beans today! 

She's loving it today. She's bumped into a couple of her friends: Michelle Heaton's daughter Faith, who she met in Euro Disney a year ago, and of course April, your little one, who is one of her closest friends. I haven't really seen her since we walked in so I know she is loving it here at Maggie & Rose.

Denise with Michelle Heaton and Mumazine Editor Sam

Obviously both you and Lee are in the public eye. Does Betsy realise she has famous parents?

I don't think we ever use the 'fame' word. Everything we do is just normal to her. When we leave the house she knows we are going to work but she doesn't think it's any different from what any of her friend's parents do.

Do you think she will follow in your footsteps?

I was much more confident when I was her age. I was much more of a show off. She's content with not being the centre of attention and I'm happy with that.

You have homes in London and Kent - how do you split your time?

I stay in London when I need to be in town to work. My flat in London used to be the party flat because I've had it a few years and we've had some great parties there. But now it's somewhere I go to get my head down. Kent is our home and the whole place is usually covered in toys. Betsy goes to a local school and it's where I spend most of my time - cooking, cleaning, washing, ironing. It's my place to just be a normal Mum.

I've started cooking a bit more and try to get out to some of the local farms in Kent to buy nice fresh produce. I've even started growing my own veg in the garden. But it can be hard when I'm living between two places to keep the kitchen well stocked. I've got my eye on one of these Beko fridge freezers they've just shown me. It looks great. You can put your fruit and veg in a special drawer and it stays fresh for a month. It's just what I need to keep my food fresher for longer. 

You are now happily dating Eddie - how does that work?

It works well. On the weekends when Betsy is with her dad, Eddie and I will play golf or do more grown-up things. On the weekends when Betsy is with us we'll go for a nice roast or a play date at a friend's house. Eddie's children are grown up, so he is very experienced with kids. 

What's your parenting style?

I wouldn't say I'm completely relaxed. I'm a planner. I have to be really, as I'm juggling so many things. I'm often in bed at night on my email at midnight sending emails to people about school runs, pick ups and drop offs, jobs and train times. It's a constant juggle. 

Betsy striking a pose

What's been your favourite part of motherhood so far?

Everything changed when we were able to have conversations together. I love the fact that she challenges me on certain things. Children make you look at yourself. Sometimes she'll challenge me on something and I'll think "actually do you know, even though you are 6, you're right."

What are you least looking forward to in the future?

I'm not worried about Betsy fleeing the nest. I think she will be quite independent. Even at this age she's quite an independent child. Like any mum who has a daughter you always worry about boyfriends. I hope she doesn't fall into the wrong crowd, but you can't predict that far ahead. It doesn't matter how you bring them up, usually it's the person they date first that will influence that early part of their life. I just hope she picks a nice gentleman when she's older and doesn't go through half the heartache I went through. 

Do you worry about Betsy getting her heart broken?

Yes, I'm dreading it because heartbreak is such a horrible feeling. I've had it myself, it feels awful and at the time you feel like it's never going to end. It does eventually but at the time it feels like your stomach is constantly in a knot.

"I'm dreading Betsy having her heart broken.

Heartbreak feels awful and feels like it's never going to end.

It feels like your stomach is constantly in a knot."

 

Betsy and best friend April 

How do you spend precious time off?

If I'm with Betsy we'll often just stay at home in our PJs. She loves playing with her toys and I'll potter around the house. Maybe we'll go for a nice girly lunch or pop to the park or go for a cycle.

Betsy loves helping me out with my chores too. I think she's got my clean streak. She'll even help me with the laundry, loading our washing machine and hanging the clothes out. I think she's probably loving it here at the party even more than the other kids - with so many cleaning appliances around!

If I have time off and Betsy is with her dad, I'll usually go and play golf. 

How did you get into playing golf?

When I turned 40 I wanted a new hobby that involved exercising. A friend of mine suggested I gave golf a go. I loved it. I love being outdoors and walking. I'm competitive too. 

What are you most proud of?

Although it's exhausting I really I think I manage to find a good balance between work and time with Betsy. It's hard - to be a hands-on mum and maintain a career too. But I think I'm doing okay.

We spoke to Denise at the Beko tea party and event to launch Beko's new products.

Comments

Great interview. Love Denise :)

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