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  • Denise Van Outen and Lee Mead have essentially spent six months working in different cities
  • Lee Mead and Denise Van Outen have been together for six years
Over the last week, there have been a series of untrue reports about the state of Denise Van Outen's marriage to West End heartthrob Lee Mead.

The fact is the couple, who have a two-year-old daughter Betsy, are very much together.

But in my Now interview this week, Denise admits their enforced separation while Lee attempts to break Hollywood has caused a ‘massive strain' because they have essentially spent six months working in different cities.

I respect the 38-year-old Magic FM DJ's trademark honesty. It's always easy for a celebrity to insist everything is OK in their love life, when in fact they have to deal with the same issues as any other couple.

I asked Denise how hard the time apart had been when we met in the central London office of her publicist. She replied matter-of-factly: ‘To be honest with you, it is really difficult. We just haven't seen each other.

‘I started on Strictly in September and we have literally been like ships passing in the night. I'm not going to lie, it is a massive strain on the relationship.'

Lee and Denise have been together for six years since meeting on the BBC talent show Any Dream Will Do. She was a judge. He was a contestant.

But the sexual tension was palpable and just two years later the pair married in the Seychelles.

Denise, who always looks immaculate, is in peak physical condition since making the finals of Strictly Come Dancing.

Happily, she also expressed hope her and Lee would increase the size of their family.

‘I would really love to have another one,' Denise smiled. ‘I was adamant when Betsy was a baby that I'd never have any more because it's really hard work.

‘But you quickly forget the sleepless nights. I absolutely love the age she's at now - she's three in May. I can absolutely understand why people want to relive it.'

Denise also reveals how she's maintaining her Strictly body and why she's engaged in a war of words with her former Big Breakfast co-presenter Johnny Vaughan in the revealing chat.

- Read Dan Wootton's full interview with Denise Van Outen in Now magazine - out now!

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