She has conquered Kilimanjaro, reached the summit of Machu Picchu, crossed India on a bicycle and now the unassuming adventurer Denise Van Outen exclusively reveals to ! how she’s preparing to scale the Great Wall of China for her next charity mission.
The Magic FM DJ made a long standing promise to best friend Tamara Edwards and her family that she would tackle the wall with them to raise money for the Royal Marsden Hospital where Tamara’s dad Michael passed away from leukemia last year.
The trip was Denise’s idea after Michael’s heartbroken wife Christine told her she was devastated that the childhood sweethearts had never managed to make their dream trip to the Great Wall of China together.
Denise climbed Mount Kilimanjaro for Comic Relief in 2009
“As soon as she told me that I said ‘right we’re going, and we’ll do it for Mick.’ I felt it was something positive to do and would give everyone a focus because I didn’t know what else I could say or do to help them.”
By her own admission the trip comes after a tough few months following her sad split from Lee Mead, father to their three-year-old daughter Betsy.
“Whenever I’ve done anything like this before I’ve always come back with a clear head, and the past few months haven’t been easy. It’ll be going back to basics and then I’ll come back with a clean slate ready to start again.”
While the pair promised not to talk about their break up, what is clear is their united devotion and love for their daughter, which will be a comfort to Denise when she is completing the gruelling trek.
“I’m obviously going to miss Betsy so much, she came into work with me the other day at Magic and loved it.
“Lee is a fantastic father to Betsy and he’s going to take time off work so he can look after her and she can spend time with her grandparents, I’m sure she’ll be spoilt rotten which is lovely.
To raise money for the trip Denise and the Edwards family have been organizing auctions, taking sponsorships and are even planning a bake sale.
“This trip is basically a big thank you to the Royal Marsden and to the Edwards family for always being there for me. I just hope we can raise a lot of money and finish it in one piece.”
Support Denise on her Just Giving page
Read more about Denise’s emotional adventure in the new issue of ! on sale now.