They have been dating for more than six years, co-hosted a relationship podcast and can regularly be seen snuggling up together on TV’s Celebrity Gogglebox.
But Denise Van Outen says she’d rather get a new patio than marry Eddie Boxshall in 2022, insisting her only New Year’s resolution is to get fit and sort out her garden.
The stage star began dating stockbroker Eddie back in July 2014 after a mutual friend set them up.
But although the couple have worked through any relationship issues on their podcast, Before We Say I Do, marriage is not high on their list of priorities.
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Denise, 47, said: “We’ve not really been focusing on organising a wedding because we’ve been trying to get the house finished and get final things done, like a new patio.
“Besides, you can’t plan for anything at the moment so there’s no rush to do anything.
“Young people plan weddings because they want to crack on and start a family but that’s not going to happen. It’s not like we are having any more children.”
Eddie, also 47, is dad to Jordan, 25, and 22-year-old Leah while Denise has 11-year-old daughter Betsy, who she shares with her ex, actor Lee Mead.
She said: “That’s the reason we have our French bulldogs. I literally treat them like they are my babies.
“Also, I don’t think I’d be able to manage another baby. I’m enjoying all the creative work that I’m doing and I’m buzzing off of it. I’ve found a nice balance.
“One of my friends has just had a baby at 47 and rings me up and says, ‘I’m so tired’. She has an 11-year-old as well.”
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With marriage and babies off the menu for now, Denise, who currently hosts and performs in London show, Cabaret All Stars, is keen to get in shape.
But she won’t push herself too hard until she recovers from the injury she picked up on Dancing on Ice last January.
The former Big Breakfast presenter never made it past the first episode of the ITV show after taking a tumble on the ice and dislocating her shoulder, fracturing the bone in three places.
Denise said: “Ice skating is not for me. I wanted to do something a little bit different – which is something we should all do – but I took myself out of my comfort zone.
“As a result of my shoulder injury, I haven’t really been able to do much exercise.
“I’m having constant physio and I’ve been seeing an osteopath. She’s finally got me back to a place where I can start doing some more exercise so from the middle of January, I’m starting a six-week fitness challenge.
“I’m going to get myself really fit – I feel like I need to for my own rehabilitation.
“I’ve got a PT called The Mobile PT and he’s really amazing. He’s devised this fitness plan that I can do pretty much from the comfort of my own home.”
With the 2022 version of Dancing on Ice starting on January 9, Denise has some sage advice for other contestants: take it easy.
She said: “I’ve already messaged my friend Kimberly Wyatt and said, ‘Be careful, don’t get too brave and take it at your own pace’.”
“I also said to her to do loads of lifts and to spend as much time as she can in the air because you’re safer. The trouble with that show is you’ve got a real mix of people… some have been on ice and others have never done it and you start to feel a bit of pressure because you want to be as good as everyone else.
“I only got to do one show and had to fudge my way through it as I was in so much pain. I wouldn’t rush to do it again because it’s too dangerous for me. I’ve got to an age where I need to take care of myself.
“I’ll stick to shows like Cooking with the Stars… I loved that and for someone that doesn’t cook, I did well!”
When it comes to food, Denise – who lives with Eddie in Chelmsford, Essex – says pie and mash and salt and vinegar crisps are her guilty pleasures. But she is an advocate of healthy living and takes multivitamins on a daily basis.
She is a keen supporter of children’s healthcare brand Haliborange Multivitamins and loves their new Adult Gummies range, which has just launched.
Denise said: “I make sure I have an orange gummy every day as it gives me extra energy for when I am performing, filming, and running around being a mum.
“Betsy has the kids’ range and it really helps to keep her fit and healthy. She has dyslexia and struggled with online learning [in lockdown] so I am hoping we don’t have to go back to that again.
“However, I did secretly love doing Betsy’s artwork project, which she got a gold star for. I thought, ‘I need to make this fun for her’, but then I found myself doing childlike things and finding the joy in it too.”
As she recovered from her Dancing on Ice injury in lockdown, Denise also started writing her autobiography. A Bit of Me: From Basildon to Broadway and Back is due out in March.
Denise said: “It gave me something to do in the second lockdown. I needed a focus after my injury and suddenly found I had all these hours to spare.
“I was chatting to my mum and dad on Zoom and asked them what I was like as a kid because there were certain things I didn’t know. I wrote everything down and it was really fascinating to go through old photographs, revisit the 90s and think about all my relationships.”
Denise, who was one of the original hard drinking and hard partying ‘ladettes’, famously dated pop star Jay Kay between 1999 and 2001 and the pair even planned to marry.
She was devastated by the end of their relationship but Denise is a lot more philosophical about it these days.
“It’s funny when you look back at it and realise the heartache and heartbreak that you went through,” she said. “It’s quite nice to look at it as a grown-up and just go, ‘I am glad I am not going through that again’.
“I would like to have gone back and spent less time crying into my pillow – although ultimately, the crying led to other relationships that have shaped me as a person.”
Would Denise say that Eddie has changed her as a person?
“It’s just a different fit, isn’t it?,” she said. “Ultimately, people don’t really change. I mean, you grow up but you don’t change… you just find a better fit.”
– Denise is working with Haliborange Adults on the launch of their new Adult Gummies and their Play From Home Guide to show how you can introduce creativity and mindfulness into your everyday. To download the guide go to @HaliborangeUKAdults on Instagram and click the link in the bio.