EXCLUSIVE 'I was definitely too thin': Denise Van Outen reveals performing in the West End and splitting from boyfriend resulted in extreme weight-loss

She's an acclaimed actress and a successful West End star, so it's part and parcel of Denise Van Outen's gruelling career to keep in shape.

But the 41-year-old TV personality has admitted her weight plummeted during a particularly busy period of her life, when she was juggling the demands of her career with heartbreak after her long-term relationship broke down.

Speaking exclusively to MailOnline, the mother-of-one explained she got too skinny after signing up to star as Roxie Hart in the musical Chicago in London's West End from 2001 to 2002.

Scroll down for video 

Weight-loss: Denise Van Outen (pictured left earlier this month) has admitted her weight plummeted while she performed in Chicago in London's West End
Too thin: Speaking exclusive to MailOnline, the mother-of-one revealed that she went down to a size 6 after signing up to star as Roxie Hart in the musical Chicago in London's West End from 2001-2002

Weight-loss: Denise Van Outen (pictured L earlier this month) has admitted her weight plummeted while she performed as Roxie Hart in Chicago in London's West End  (pictured R in 2001)

She explained: 'I’ve had times when I’ve definitely been too thin. I think around the time I did Chicago, I went down to a size 6 but I was dancing a lot. I was doing a lot of shows, I’d split up with my boyfriend, I had a lot going on in my life.'

The mother-of-one didn't confirm which ex-boyfriend she's referring to, but she split from Jamiroquai frontman Jay Kay around the same time, ending their engagement in 2001 after three years together.

Denise added: 'I definitely look at pictures at myself back then and think, "I definitely look too thin".

'It doesn’t look very nice. But at the time, you think you look OK because everyone tells you that you look fantastic, which is a bit odd because you think, "Hmm, maybe I look great, but I feel terrible".'

Proud mum: Fast-forward to the present day, and the performer - who's mother to five-year-old daughter Betsy from her marriage with ex-husband Lee Mead - appears to finally be at peace with the way she looks

Proud mum: Fast-forward to the present day, and the performer - who's mother to five-year-old daughter Betsy from her marriage with ex-husband Lee Mead - appears to finally be at peace with the way she looks

Fast-forward to the present day, and the performer - who's mother to five-year-old daughter Betsy from her marriage with ex-husband Lee Mead - appears to finally be at peace with the way she looks.

She explained that despite having a naturally slim figure, she works hard to maintain her fine physique - primarily to be on top form for her various on-stage performances.

Denise said: 'My weight fluctuates. I’m lucky in that I take after my dad so I’ve got quite a slim build, but I do have to take care of myself. More so now that I’m getting older.

'But I think just because of the work that I do and the fact it involves theatre means that whenever I’ve got a show coming up I have to really look after myself. 

'I’m aware of the benefits of feeling good when you can fit into your skinny jeans.'

Happy families: Denise met her former husband Lee Mead on the reality show, Any Dream Will Do

Happy families: Denise met her former husband Lee Mead on the reality show, Any Dream Will Do

It's perhaps no surprise, then, that the blonde starlet was chosen to host a new weight-loss documentary series, titled Losing Weight: My Journey on the XLS MEDICAL website.

But despite admitting her weight fluctuates depending on what she's got going on in her life, Denise insists that she's never been overweight.

She explained: 'I don’t think I’ve ever been medically overweight, or what is considered to be overweight. 

'My weight does fluctuate [and] obviously I’ve had a daughter so I’ve had to shift the baby weight and all of that, so that’s probably the biggest I’ve ever been.'

The blonde star - who was a runner-up in Strictly Come Dancing in 2012 - added that she was in no rush to lose the baby weight after giving birth to daughter Betsy.

Pregnancy glow: The blonde star said that she was in no rush to lose the baby weight after giving birth to daughter Betsy

Pregnancy glow: The blonde star said that she was in no rush to lose the baby weight after giving birth to daughter Betsy

She said: 'I felt alright [about losing the weight] because I wasn’t in a rush to do it and also I had a couple of things in my diary to work towards, like I had a trek in Peru, to Machu Picchu. 

'I just did gentle exercise like walking and making sure I was on the move. Then after that, I did [West End show] Legally Blonde. 

'If you go into any show, the weight just falls off you, it’s just adrenaline, you go in and you know you’re going to lose a few pounds. 

'It’s the fact you’re eating at different times as well, and you lose a lot of weight through adrenaline.'

Work BFFs: The theatre actress recently returned to the West End in the musical Sweet Charity, alongside her former Strictly co-star, Kimberley Walsh

Work BFFs: The theatre actress recently returned to the West End in the musical Sweet Charity, alongside her former Strictly co-star, Kimberley Walsh

The theatre actress recently returned to the West End in the musical Sweet Charity, alongside her former Strictly co-star and close friend, Kimberley Walsh. 

Denise joked that despite regularly trying to arrange to see one another, more often than not they usually end up meeting up through work. 

She explained: 'I really enjoyed spending time with Kimberley, we try and catch up as much as we can and it always happens through work. 

'Socially it’s difficult when you’ve both got little ones. It’s just really nice to share the stage with a really close friend.'

Doting mother: The former Girls Aloud star, 33, gave birth to son Bobby in September 2014, her first child with fiancé Justin Scott

Doting mother: The former Girls Aloud star, 33, gave birth to son Bobby in September 2014, her first child with fiancé Justin Scott

The former Girls Aloud star, 33, gave birth to son Bobby in September 2014, her first child with fiancé Justin Scott.

And Denise - who trekked Mount Kilimanjaro alongside Kimberley for Comic Relief in 2009 - explained she's a very relaxed mum to her one-year-old tot.

She said: 'She seems to be doing great. She’s exercising, and she’s doing really well, she looks fantastic. She’s a really good mum, she’s really relaxed, she’s really good.'

The pair also have Strictly in common, with the stars coming second and third respectively, behind Olympic gymnast Louis Smith.

Dancing shoes: The blonde star was a runner-up in Strictly Come Dancing 2012, behind Louis Smith

Dancing shoes: The blonde star was a runner-up in Strictly Come Dancing 2012, behind Louis Smith

When asked who she's backing to win this year's show, she said she's got her eye on sports presenter Kirsty Gallacher, explaining: 'Strictly’s a really great show so I always try and look for someone that I know in the line-up.

'I know Kirsty Gallacher so I’m going to be supporting her. I’m really excited about her doing it and we’ll all go up and support her.' 

But it looks like Denise is hanging up her dancing shoes for now as she's currently filming the Brit boxing flick Gloves Off, in which she plays female lead, Vera.

Denise's new weight loss documentary Losing Weight: My Journey by XLS-MEDICAL is available every Thursday from 9am

Dancing pal: When asked who she's backing to win this year's show, she said: 'I know Kirsty Gallacher so I’m going to be supporting her. I’m really excited about her doing it and we’ll all go up and support her'

Dancing pal: When asked who she's backing to win this year's show, she said: 'I know Kirsty Gallacher so I’m going to be supporting her. I’m really excited about her doing it and we’ll all go up and support her'

On-set: It looks like Denise is hanging up her dancing shoes for now as she's currently filming the Brit boxing flick Gloves Off, in which she plays the female lead, Vera

On-set: It looks like Denise is hanging up her dancing shoes for now as she's currently filming the Brit boxing flick Gloves Off, in which she plays the female lead, Vera

  

 

 

 

The comments below have not been moderated.

The views expressed in the contents above are those of our users and do not necessarily reflect the views of MailOnline.

By posting your comment you agree to our house rules.

Who is this week's top commenter? Find out now