Denise Van Outen and Johnny Vaughan make friends after 23-year feud – in time for Big Breakfast anniversary

Albertina Lloyd
·Entertainment reporter, Yahoo UK
·3 min read
Denise Van Outen and Johnny Vaughan reunite on their new Capital Breakfast Show on February 4, 2008 in London, England. (Photo by Jon Furniss/WireImage)
Denise Van Outen and Johnny Vaughan have repaired their friendship after a 23 year feud. (Getty Images)

Denise Van Outen has revealed she and Johnny Vaughan have made up after falling out 23 years ago over their The Big Breakfast contracts.

The former EastEnders star made her name co-hosting the Channel 4 morning show with Vaughan in 1997, but left in 1998 when she found out he had negotiated a larger pay deal than her.

Van Outen told the Mirror: "Johnny and I have had a bit of a rocky relationship over the years for various reasons and, funnily enough, we’ve messaged a lot in lockdown."

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“These situations make you reflect and realise some of the silly niggles and arguments you have are just not worth it.”

PA NEWS PHOTO 4/6/98  CHANNEL 4 TELEVISION'S "THE BIG BREAKFAST" PRESENTERS JOHNNY VAUGHAN AND DENISE VAN OUTEN LAUNCH THE NEW HAAGEN DAZS SORBET RANGE AT LONDON'S COVENT GARDEN
'Big Breakfast' hosts Denise Van Outen and Johnny Vaughan in 1998. (PA)

And their renewed friendship has come just in time as The Big Breakfast, whose hosts also include Chris Evans, Gaby Roslin, Zoe Ball, Richard Bacon and Kelly Brook, is set to celebrate its 30th anniversary.

Van Outen said: “It would be nice to do something.”

The 46-year-old singer, actor and TV presenter left The Big Breakfast in 1998 amid rumours of a feud with Vaughan, 54.

She returned to co-host the show in 2000 and was also reunited with Vaughan in 2008 when they co-hosted a show on Capital FM, but Van Outen left the show halfway through her contract.

She previously said of their working relationship: "We were proper mates. I laughed every day, we used to laugh to the point where I was going to wet myself. Then things happened and we've had fallouts along the way.

Johnny Vaughan and Denise Van Outen during her first Capital FM Breakfast Show (reprising the partnership with her former Big Breakfast colleague), at Capital Radio, in London.   (Photo by Joel Ryan - PA Images/PA Images via Getty Images)
Johnny Vaughan and Denise Van Outen continued to work together including on Capital FM in 2008, but Van Outen has admitted relations were strained. (Getty Images)

"There's are couple of reasons why ... when the show [The Big Breakfast] became successful and we were negotiating contracts I thought we were doing it as a team but his agent had other ideas and she got him more money, and there were all those arguments that happens with bands and presenters. I wanted us to be a team and it became apparent we were not a team anymore and we never got back on track."

The Big Breakfast ran on Channel 4 between 1992 and 2002.

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Last year comedian and The Masked Singer judge Mo Gilligan announced he will be hosting a one-off revival of The Big Breakfast in 2021 as part of Channel 4s’s Black Takeover Day.

During its Takeover Day schedule, Channel 4's flagship shows will be hosted by all-Black talent, including Celebrity Gogglebox, Countdown and the Channel 4 News.

There will also be a special hour-long episode of soap Hollyoaks which will be entirely written, directed and performed by its Black talent.

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