I have known Denz for about 18 years now and whenever I’m around her she makes me feel at home and cozy.
She has known my boys since they were born and I've also seen her boys grow into the men they now are. We have talked about many a parenting tip or two!
Denise makes me laugh out loud with her antics and her passion- she always has a funny tale to share and a mischievous sparkle to her.
She is full of advice, wisdom and understanding about her own and other people's depression, - something that runs throughout my own family, so we’ve had lots of heart to hearts over the years that have always really helped. I’ve always backed her mission which is to help people see that there is light at the end of the tunnel and make mental health an everyday conversation.
I don’t think I’ve ever seen Denz without her nails painted and a jolly smile (even when she’s feeling low) and I’m surprised she’s not thumped me one over the years as I’m always trying to convince her to tone her lippy down and push her fringe off her face! I just want to see more of that beautiful face!
Love you Denz xxxxx
You are such an incredibly well known face on our television screens having starred in so many amazing dramas - what would be your biggest achievement to date and what keeps driving you forward.
I can honestly say that my biggest achievement , apart from my 2 sons which I am sure that every mum would say, would be my sobriety. My husband Lincoln & I got sober 8 years ago and it has definitely been the best thing that we have done - not only for ourselves but also for our families.
It means that both Lincoln and I have been able to give our kids wings to fly without them worrying constantly about their parents. We had both reached rock bottom and thank goodness we found each other - we now have an amazing relationship that reflects on the whole family and that's what keeps me moving forward for sure. Hopefully I am also empowering women of my age to go out there and live your best life as at the age of 62, I am busier than I have ever been so there is definitely life in us old birds yet!
You meet a lot of people through your work - both famous and not - which one person stands out as the one that has had the biggest influence on you?
I think possibly when I look back, the biggest influence was my old drama teacher, Terry Cudden. Without him I wouldn't be in this industry and I have loved being an actor and now presenter as well. I wasn't the most academic at school and was all set to go to teacher training college, but I loved drama and it was Terry that gave me roles in all the school plays...it might sound corny but it was like a light went on!
Suddenly I could do something well and I was getting patted on the back for it -every child needs that. What Terry gave me was a huge lift in my self esteem and faith in my own ability to do something positive and I will never forget this.
If you could go on a ‘socially distanced’ walk and gossip with one other person right now, (not friend or family member) who would you choose and why?
I never thought I would say this but it would have to be Matt Hancock. I have been so angry at the Government over the past year and their lack of transparency in the decisions they have made that influence all of our lives.
I want to try to get past the politician that makes me want to kick the television and go for a walk with the man, the father, the husband - I desperately hang onto the fact that these people are human beings who have families and they ultimately want a wonderful world for their children so going on a walk with Matt Hancock would help me to humanise him in my mind.
Do you miss travel? Where will be the first place that you book a trip to once we are free to fly again?
Yes, yes, yes - More than anything! As soon as I can I will book flights to Los Angeles where Lincoln & I have many friends. It often feels like we have a little parallel life going on over there - I love it so much, I love my friends there so much and I miss it terribly. I have even been watching Bling Empire the really crass reality show set in LA to make me feel connected!
Are you a spender or a saver? What was the last thing you spent over £50 on? Share with us!
I am a spender and not a very good saver! In my mind I can save but my bank statements say otherwise 😂
The last think I spent over £50 on was a new mattress! I had to buy a new firm mattress to support my 'Nana' back as the old one was too soft and playing havoc with it!
Many women flip careers once their children grow older - if you were to move on from being an actress what would you do now?
I have always loved hair and makeup and I am quite good at makeup, not so much hair, so I think I would have enjoyed being a makeup artist. Alternatively if I was Oxbridge educated I would love to be a forensic scientist!
Is music important to you? Which song evokes the most memories for you? The one that stops you in your tracks when you hear it?
I am more of a telly person than a music person to be perfectly honest and I am so trapped in the past with music and struggle to move on! My son is the lead singer in a very well know band (Matt Healey from The 1975) and he is constantly trying to move me on but, my favourite song I think of all time would be 'You to me are everything' by The Real Thing. Every time I hear it I feel like Peter Kaye dancing onto the dance floor! It evokes memories of the seventies where although I am sure we had problems it just felt like such a carefree time.
Another one is Nana by Matt's band The 1975 which was written about my mum. This has different types of memories and always gives me a lump in my throat.
Ok, lets talk fashion and Beauty...Whose personal style do you really admire?
It is actually someone not famous, but Bertie (one half of the stylist duo MotherShoppers) our stylist at Loose Women. I just love her quirky and innovative style which is so funky and so different to anything I would wear. I would look like a clown in her clothes but she always just looks cute and amazing.
Do you follow a strict skincare regime? Can you share with our readers?
I could tell loads of porky's here but if I'm honest no I don't! I simply use face wipes to take my makeup off and then I use whichever moisturiser that someone have given to me! I am lucky that genetically my skin is quite good which is a bit of a saving grace as I am ashamed to say that I do sometimes fall asleep on the sofa with my makeup on and then fall straight into bed if I am working long hours!!!
What is the latest item you purchased for your makeup bag?
Firstly I just want to say that I'm not sure how anyone lived without the lay flat makeup bag from Donna May London before it came on the market - it changes everything! The latest product I purchased for my makeup bag is the makeup brush kit from DML - I am having to do my own makeup for Hollyoaks at the moment due to the pandemic and everyone was horrified at the state of my brushes so these were a very good buy!
Is there one product you have used since your teens that you just can't let go?
I am embarrassed to say but I do like a little bit of white highlighter!! I am always so tempted to put a bit at the top of my eyes which I know is so 70's but sneak a bit on when I can!
What is your favourite lip colour? Brand and shade?
Coral in Gold by Rimmel - I love it! I cant find it in any shops now so I buy it online
What is your desert island product that you couldn't live without?
It would have to be moisturiser. I used to say mascara but now I am older my skin simply can't do without it. (although I am not too selective about the one I use 😂)
You are an incredible advocate of mental health having openly talked about your struggles both past and present - As we are now in lockdown again - although it does feel slightly different from the first time, is there one piece of advice you could give our readers that helps you when you are stressed and anxious?
This is obviously a very tough year for people with mental health problems and mental illness like myself. I have had so many people say to me that they have empathised with but never fully understood what it was like to have a mental health problems as they had never experienced it but now they are.
It is a shit show to be honest - accessing mental health services was diabolical before the pandemic, both under the Tories and Labour before this, so I simply don't buy the blame game between the two parties. Mental health services have always been underfunded and now it harder than ever.
It is always so difficult to know what to say to people struggling with their mental health - never, ever think that your doctor wont see you as we hear often on social media about people being unable to access help from the doctor...this is not the case and doctor's want to help so please call them.
Also, unlike when I was first ill years ago, if you Google (for example) 'Depression Services Coventry' or 'Anxiety Help Wolverhampton' there will be groups and local information that you can access before you can get the proper professional help you need.
I know it is difficult at the moment but please remember that this will end.