Get all your news in one place.
100’s of premium titles.
One app.
Start reading
Daily Mirror
Daily Mirror
Kyle O'Sullivan

Natalie Cassidy and Denise Van Outen's 'hypocrite' feud over when mums go back to work

One of the unlikeliest feuds in showbiz happened between an EastEnders legend and a much-loved TV presenter.

No one could have suspected that Natalie Cassidy and Denise Van Outen would have got started a row that really did divide the public.

Natalie, who has played Sonia Fowler since 1993 and recently spoke about a number of her castmates being axed, criticised Denise for going back to work so soon after having her baby.

In May 2010, Denise gave birth to Betsy, whose dad is Any Dream Will Do winner Lee Mead, then she revealed she was employing a full-time nanny to look after her daughter so she could return to the West End stage.

Just days after Denise announced she was heading back to her job, Natalie said: "Denise van Outen went back to work after two weeks because she said she needed to feel normal again.

"I just think, 'What have you had a child for? Having a child should be your job'."

Denise Van Outen had a baby back in 2010 (PA)
The presenter took part in a Bumps and Babies mile in aid of Sport Relief (PA)

Get the news you want straight to your inbox. Sign up for a Mirror newsletter here .

Denise stayed quiet on the scathing comments at the time, but the former Big Breakfast presenter would hit out at Natalie for being a 'hypocrite' just a few months later.

In November that year, Natalie she appeared on ITV's Lorraine just six weeks after giving birth to her daughter Eliza.

While feeding the newborn with a bottle, the EastEnders actress spoke to Lorraine Kelly about being a new mum before promoting her new reality TV show, Natalie Cassidy: Becoming Mum.

The E4 show followed Natalie through her pregnancy to giving birth to Eliza to dealing with being a new mum.

Natalie admitted that she wasn't keen on doing a reality show initially but she was tempted by the money.

An incensed Denise hit back at the EastEnders star in a series of ranting tweets in which she accused her rival of being a hypocrite.

Natalie Cassidy and Adam Cottrell doing promo for their show (Channel 4)

Denise wrote: "Natalie Cassidy criticised me for going back to work after having Betsy. Natalie's on Lorraine show now promoting her reality pregnancy/new mum show. Isn't that work????"

She then added: "She said she did the show for money, so yes, that is work. Pot calling!!!!"

Continuing her rant, Denise then pointed out that she had done a family picture which was made public to raise money for Great Ormond Street Hospital.

Turning on Natalie, Denise added: "She did a family shot and put the money in her pocket."

Denise then made a reference to Natalie's character Sonia, who famously played the trumpet, by tweeting: "She can stick her trumpet where the sun don't shine ...hee hee!!!"

Some people in the replies came to Natalie's defence, with one claiming she could be spending time with her baby rather than getting into a Twitter row.

However, Denise jokingly replied: "I haven't said a word! Betsy got her hands on my Twitter. She's a baby genius."

The EastEnders star in her reality TV show 'Natalie Cassidy: Becoming Mum (E4)

After a few hours of silence, Denise came back to defend herself again when someone pointed out she had left Betsy behind when she spent a week in Peru trekking through the Andes.

The Twitter user wrote: "HUGE difference with someone having cameras following them around while they are WITH their baby and someone leaving their baby."

Defending herself, Denie said: "I was away for 7 days. Betsy's father and my mum looked after her in my absence. BTW - we raised a fortune for Breast Cancer Care."

At the time, a spokeswoman for Natalie said: 'We don't wish to respond to Denise's Twitter rant."

But a few days later, Natalie attempted to diffuse the parenting row by insisting that she has 'old-fashioned' views of motherhood.

The EastEnder claimed she didn't mean to sound so critical but did hit back at some of the claims Denise had made about her.

The trumpet even got mentioned (BBC / Gary Moyes)

Natalie told Now magazine: "I haven’t been criticising anyone. It’s up to each woman if she wants to go back to work - it’s a personal decision.

"But I’m old fashioned. I couldn’t do a job that required me to be away from my baby all day. It’s not me. My reality sho has been filmed and I went on Lorraine Kelly's show with my baby."

She also replied to the comments Denise had made about the selling of her baby photos and said she needed the money.

"It’s great for Denise that she gave the money for their first family picture to charity," explained Natalie.

"Adam and I would love to be in a position financially to give money away. I hope when I’m the same age as her and more financially secure I’ll be able to do the same."

Do you have a story to share? Email

Sign up to read this article
Read news from 100’s of titles, curated specifically for you.
Already a member? Sign in here
Related Stories
Top stories on inkl right now
One subscription that gives you access to news from hundreds of sites
Already a member? Sign in here
Our Picks
Fourteen days free
Download the app
One app. One membership.
100+ trusted global sources.