Easy Listening/Vocal

An actress, singer, presenter, and musical theater star, multi-talented Denise Van Outen has been one of the most popular and successful all-round entertainers in the U.K. since the mid-'90s. Born Denise Kathleen Outen in Basildon, Essex in 1974, she attended the Sylvia Young Theatre School at the same time as Spice Girl Emma Bunton and All Saint Melanie Blatt. In 1994, she formed pop duo Those 2 Girls with Cathy Warwick, but following two minor hits, "Wanna Make You Go... Uuh" (#74) and "All I Want" (#36), the two were dropped by their record label. During a stint as a travel presenter for Channel 4 flagship show The Big Breakfast, her quick-witted sense of humor and bubbly personality impressed bosses enough to offer her a co-presenting role with Johnny Vaughan, a partnership which lasted three years and resulted in a number three single in 1998, with their comedy cover version of Kylie Minogue and Jason Donovan's iconic duet "Especially for You." Following appearances on the sitcom Babes in the Wood and Primrose Hill, and films Love, Honour and Obey, Van Outen left the show to concentrate on her acting career. She appeared in both the West End and Broadway productions of Chicago as Roxie Hart, a feat she later repeated when starring in Andrew Lloyd Webber's one-woman show Tell Me on a Sunday. She returned to the music charts with the latter's soundtrack, (number 34) and on "Can't Take My Eyes Off You" (number 23), a duet with easy listening crooner Andy Williams. After a presenting slot on NBC's Grease: You're the One That I Want, she landed a judging role in 2007 on the BBC talent search Any Dream Will Do, a show which resulted in her meeting her future husband, eventual winner Lee Mead. Returning to the theater, she performed at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in Jackie Clunes' Blondes before taking on the role of Paulette Bunafonte in the stage show adaptation of Legally Blonde. Van Outen also appeared on the hit ABBAMania album, performing "Gimme Gimme Gimme," co-presented the Capital Radio Breakfast Show for six months in 2008, and climbed Mount Kilimanjaro a year later in aid of Comic Relief. ~ Jon O'Brien, Rovi