Denise van Outen has quit alcohol admitting that her drinking had begun to spiral out of control.
The 45-year-old actress and singer – who recently wowed audiences as Fox on The Masked Singer – was forced to pull out of performing in the West End musical Chicago in 2018 due to an injury, and revealed it had sparked an unhealthy cycle.
Van Outen told Closer magazine: "I broke my foot and it really had a negative effect on my life. I was all geared up for doing Chicago, and I was gutted to have to pull out.
"From then on, I sat on my bum for four months – I was so miserable, I put on weight and I lost my confidence. I didn't want to do anything. I was eating fish and chips and drinking wine and thinking, ‘What’s the point in being healthy?’"
The former EastEnders star – who has a nine-year-old daughter, Betsy, with ex-husband Lee Mead – decided: “I don’t want to feel like this – I want to go into my late 40s feeling fit, healthy and amazing.” And she admitted she made “a lot” of changes to her lifestyle, including cutting out alcohol.
Van Outen said: "I've done the party girl thing – I partied so hard in my 20s and 30s. It’s not for me any more – if I'd have carried on partying hard now into my 40s, it would have been quite tragic really."
The former Big Breakfast presenter, who dated Jamiroquai singer Jay Kay between 1998 and 2001, admitted that while she feels much better sober, some people tell her, “You’re boring.”
But van Outen said: “I just think, ‘No, I feel great, actually.’"
Van Outen was married to fellow West End star Mead, 38, from 2009 until 2013. They met when Mead won the BBC TV talent show Any Dream Will Do, which Mead won.
She revealed in December that co-parenting is working well for the family.
She said: "I speak to Lee daily, so I always know what's going on, and Betsy knows how loved she is by both of us.”
She has been dating city broker Eddie Boxshall for several years.