Denise Van Outen and Lee Mead split: ‘We lead such busy lives we never know what’s happening’ – EXCLUSIVE

The ex-Strictly star told us that their lives are ‘so up in the air’ that they just don’t know when they’re around - but that three-year-old Betsy is her and her former husband’s number one priority

Denise Van Outen and Lee Mead announced their separation this weekend in what was one of showbiz's worst-kept secrets, after denying speculation for months that their relationship was on the rocks.

But in an exclusive interview conducted just days before the split, the former Strictly star revealed to us that the couple’s schedules were so up in the air that they rarely knew where each other were.

The pair – who met on the 2007 talent show Any Dream Will Do – announced this weekend they were splitting after four years of marriage.

But with former husband Lee, 32, often based in London and Los Angeles, Denise admitted to us prior to the split that the pair struggle to plan ahead due to their hectic schedules.

“We never know what’s happening, what’s going on,” she told us last week.

“You never know who’s where at what particular time. It’s always so up in the air with what we do, we just don’t know.”

But the former Big Breakfast host, 39, made no hint the couple were divorcing, saying they still do stuff together as a family.

“Oh God, we do [spend time together as a family]. We do loads of stuff together. You have a private life outside of this business that people don’t see,” she said.

“We do all the normal things, go to the park, swimming… all those things that parents do.”

And just last weekend, Denise and Lee were spotted putting on a united front at an event at Hamley’s toy store in London with their three-year-old daughter.

“It was good, it was fun,” she said of the event that came to be their last public appearance together as a couple.

The Brit star opened up to us about her busy schedule, saying her former husband often babysits their daughter when she’s presenting her Magic FM radio show at the weekend.

“Lee [looks after her] if he’s not working, or sometimes my best friend Tamara does because we don’t have a nanny. We haven’t had one [with Betsy],” Denise told us.

The former Strictly contestant currently lives in Cranbrook, Kent with daughter Betsy – while Lee spent a lot of time working in London and attending business meetings in Los Angeles.

“We’ve got a flat in London so we split between the two [places],” she told us.

“I try and spend as much time as I can in Kent but it is quite far out - that’s where Betsy’s going to go to school [in September].”

Throughout our interview with Denise last week, it was clear that her daughter was her number one priority and her life revolves around her.

It comes as no surprise then that the couple admitted this in their joint statement issued last week.

"The couple remain the best of friends, with their daughter Betsy as their No.1 priority. The family ask for privacy at this time,” read the statement.

The Brit star – who previously fronted The Big Breakfast with Johnny Vaughan – told us she tries to spend as much time with her daughter as possible.

[Andy Murray and Kim Sears are the picture of happiness in Bahamas holiday pictures, prove Wimbledon naysayers wrong]

[The reason couples like Sharon and Ozzy may split, according to relationship expert]

“Because I do my radio show on a Saturday, I always try and keep my Mondays and Tuesdays free just so I can spend a bit of time with her,” she said.

And Denise has written a theatre play that she’s touring in later in the year – which she’s adjusted so that she doesn’t have to be apart from Betsy for too long.

“We’ll just do a longer [theatre] tour, we’ll fit it all in so I can actually be with Betsy. It’s how things have to be because she’s too little for me to just disappear for two months,” she said.

But despite her best efforts to spend as much time with Betsy as possible, she admitted she often feels guilty about leaving her at home when she has to go to work.

“All parents feel guilty. Whatever you do, even just now trying to get her ready and she didn’t want to go, I felt terrible,” she told us.

“You feel like you’re making them go. She’s like ‘I want to stay with you, mummy’, I’m like ‘mummy’s got to work’.”

[Denise Van Outen and Lee Mead split after four years of marriage - CONFIRMED]

[Denise Van Outen looks glum in first pictures since marriage SPLIT from Lee Mead as she leaves house in mini dress WITHOUT wedding ring]

With a busy working schedule, a three-year-old daughter and a relationship to uphold, she admitted she ‘doesn’t really get that much time’ for herself.

“I love watching films, the old classics, if I get the chance to do it – but very rarely do I get the chance to sit down and watch a full film,” she said.

“I only recently watched The Notebook, can you believe it? It’s a proper chick-flick, I literally sobbed on the sofa.”

Tell us what you think of the news over on Twitter now.

Denise Van Outen hosted the Direct Line Cinigym – the first in a series of "Moving Forwards" events to help people maximise their free time.