Denise Van Outen was originally lined up to host Strictly Come Dancing

Denise Van Outen has revealed she was originally lined up to host Strictly Come Dancing.


The TV personality says she was asked to present the first series alongside the late Sir Bruce Forsyth.

Speaking to entrepreneur and investor Matt Haycox on The Matt Haycox Show podcast, Denise shared: “When they first came up with the idea, I was offered Strictly Come Dancing.

“I knew Bruce Forsyth really well. And I’ve done a few shows with him. We used to sing together. And he came to me and approached me to be sidekick in the new Strictly Come Dancing.

“He said to me, ‘there’s this show, it’s all ballroom, it’s gonna be celebrities’. And he said, ‘I want to open the show with a song and dance with you, and close it with you’ – because he knew that I danced and sang.

“And I remember sitting there and I went to him ‘Bruce, it sounds really boring!’. So, they gave it to Tess Daly. And then it became a huge hit, and I was thinking maybe I was an idiot turning that down.

However Denise – who competed on Strictly as a contestant in 2012 – reflected that the decision ultimately “worked out” for her.

“Actually, when I look back, Tess has done it so well for many years, but just kind of does that, and she’s associated with it,” Denise said, “Whereas, I went on to do Broadway, I’ve done film, I’ve done theatre in the West End – I’ve done so many other things.


“And, I wouldn’t have had such a varied career if I’d taken it. So, actually, for me, it worked out.”

You can watch Denise’s full interview on YouTube here.