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Denise van Outen Bio
Denise van Outen (born May 27, 1974 as Denise Kathleen Outen) is an English actress, singer, dancer and presenter. She is best known for presenting The Big Breakfast, for playing Roxie Hart in the musical Chicago both in the West End and on Broadway and for finishing as runner-up in the tenth series of the BBC One dancing show Strictly Come Dancing.
As a teenager she had brief roles on a number of television dramas including Kappatoo and The Bill. She also sang with Cathy Warwick in “girl group” Those2Girls, by which time she had become Denise van Outen. She also did backing vocals with Melanie Blatt for the band Dreadzone.
Among her earliest roles was that of Dorothy in a little seen version of The Wizard of Oz set in the present day made for British Channel Five in 1995. During her first stint on the Big Breakfast show, she appeared as Jill in ITV1’s version of the pantomime Jack and the Beanstalk alongside Julie Walters and Neil Morrissey. Wanting to further develop her acting career, she left The Big Breakfast at the end of 1998. In 1999, she appeared on several episodes of The Bill and The Young Person’s Guide To Becoming A Rock Star, the BBC‘s Murder in Mind short series of crime dramas, and on 2 series of Babes in the Wood with Karl Howman and Samantha Janus.
Van Outen has also appeared in film, initially as Maureen in the crime comedy Love, Honour and Obey. In the anthology film Tube Tales, set on the London Underground, she played the lead character of Alex in the “Horny” segment, directed by Stephen Hopkins. Van Outen has played a small role in the romantic comedy Are You Ready For Love?
She first played Roxie Hart on the stage in the hit musical Chicago at the Adelphi Theatre in the West End in April 2001. Her run proved a hit with theatre-goers, selling out for the entire 20 weeks. Unknown in the United States, she reprised her role on Broadway in the spring of 2002, before returning to the show’s London version in late April 2002. Late the same year, Van Outen appeared as one of many special guest stars in a performance of The Play What I Wrote once again in London’s West End.
In 2003, she returned to the London stage at the Gielgud Theatre in Andrew Lloyd Webber‘s one-woman show Tell Me on a Sunday, which he reworked for her. She was a huge success and the show ran for nearly a year. She then joined the cast of the established ITV sentimental drama Where the Heart Is as one of the lead characters, playing single mother Kim Blakeney, continuing for two series.
Van Outen played Maureen in the 2007 London revival of Rent Remixed directed by William Baker until 22 December. She was forced to cancel some performances owing to a throat infection.
In July 2009, van Outen played Mary in Hotel Babylon for the BBC. Her character was at the hotel for a science convention.
In 2013 she co-wrote the one-woman musical play Some Girl I Used To Know with Terry Ronald, which she will tour in from January 2014.
In February 2015, it was announced that Van Outen would be joining the cast of EastEnders. Van Outen plays intelligent businesswoman Karin Smart who gets involved with Max Branning (Jake Wood), and has business history with Phil Mitchell (Steve McFadden).
In August 2015 Van Outen performs the title role in a concert performance of the musical Sweet Charity at Cadogan Hall, with actor/singer Michael Xavier, ex-Girls Aloud band member Kimberley Walsh and West End star Kerry Ellis.
On 29 July 2008 she quit the show, halfway through her contract, because of TV commitments and the early mornings However, in April 2011 van Outen said that she left the show because relations between her and Vaughan had soured. She claims Vaughan has not spoken to her since.
Since spring 2013, van Outen has presented her own Saturday afternoon radio show on London’s Magic 105.4, airing between 1.00pm and 3.00pm.
Van Outen has designed two collections thus far for the website, Very, part of the Shop Direct Group. The first collection was a maternity range launched in March 2010 and the second an autumn/winter collection.