Denise van Outen has confessed that she ‘lied every day’ for weeks to land, and then keep, her job on .
Van Outen, 48, hosted the Channel 4 breakfast show in the late 1990s and early 2000s alongside co-presenters Johnny Vaughan, Richard Bacon, and Liza Tarbuck.
She left a year before its cancellation by Channel 4 in 2002, and 20 years after her departure she’s admitted she wasn’t always confident on the morning show because she was in th wrong job.
‘When I first went for The Big Breakfast, I thought I was going for the main presenting job, but then I found out I was actually auditioning for the weather girl.’
She continued: ‘I thought, “I’m just going to have to lie my way through this.” So I pretended I had done a meteorological course. And I managed to get through it.’
But, she told , that only created problems further down the line: ‘I got the job, and I was like, “S**t, I don’t know anything about the weather!”
‘I was just flying round in the helicopter like, “If you want to know what the weather is like just look out your window!”‘
However, it seems her decision paid off when she was promoted from reporting on the weather to being one of the show’s main presenters in the late 90s.
The Big Breakfast mixed news, interviews, audience phone-ins, and general features with a light tone, competing against GMTV and BBC Breakfast.
During its run from 1992 to 2002, it went through a total of 18 main presenters, including Chris Evans, Zoe Ball, and Keith Chegwin.
It became a cultural staple of the 90s and was most distinctive for being broadcast live from a real house, rather than a traditional TV studio.
The show was revamped and rebooted in 2021, with AJ Odudu, Mo Gilligan, and Judi Love on presenting duties. It briefly continued in 2022.