Denise Van Outen today confirmed that she and her husband of four years Lee Mead have split.

Van Outen and Mead's marriage had been in under scrutiny for a while, with Denise describing her post-Strictly life as 'really difficult'.

'To be honest with you, it is really difficult. We just haven't seen each other.' she said in April. '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.'

Mead and Van Outen first met on Andrew Lloyd Webber's search for a Joseph in BBC's 'Any Dream Will Do', in which he was a contestant and she a judge. According to The Mirror, the marriage has been over for months, even though both parties denied they had separated. 'They have been living separate lives for months. It is sad, but sometimes things don't work out. They'll remain friends.' they quote a 'friend' as saying.

'Following continued speculation, Denise Van Outen and Lee Mead are sad to confirm they have decided to separate,' her spokesperson said in a statement today. 'The couple remain the best of friends, with their daughter Betsy as their number one priority. The family ask for privacy at this time.'