Denise Van Outen splits from boyfriend Jimmy Barba after 18 months

Denise Van Outen has confirmed her separation from boyfriend Jimmy Barba, 55, marking the end of their 18 month-long relationship.

The television personality, 49, who publicly introduced her romance with the property developer last year, shared the news with The Sun, stating: "We have decided to part ways, but we remain great friends, and our families and children are still in touch."

The couple, initially brought together by All Saints singer Shaznay Lewis, seemed inseparable during the initial stages of their relationship, attending red carpet events, enjoying holidays, and sharing glimpses of their life on social media.

However, in recent weeks, there has been a noticeable absence of joint posts, and Denise has been actively involved in her work, including DJing and presenting on Steph's Packed Lunch.

A source previously told OK! that Denise was "smitten" with Jimmy, confirming: "Denise is head over heels for Jimmy – he feels like a breath of fresh air and is a real man after all of Eddie's drama.

"He makes her laugh, they're having so much fun together after meeting online. It's not been long, but she's smitten which is why she went on red carpet official with him."

Denise, a mother to Betsy from her previous marriage to Lee Mead, faced heartbreak last year when she discovered her then-boyfriend, Eddie Boxshall, had been exchanging explicit messages with other women.

Denise spoke out about the break up in her new autobiography A Bit Of Me: From Basildon To Broadway And Back, where she revealed what set off her "alarm bells."

The Celebrity Gogglebox star wrote: "Among photos was a screenshot…of a woman’s breasts – and they definitely weren’t mine!

"Also, there was a flirty text exchange between Eddie and this woman, which, of course, set off alarm bells."

Despite the challenges, Denise spoke to OK! about opening up about her experiences in her book, and how it has helped her feel better.

She told us: "It was an opportunity to be very open about certain things, and it’s cathartic when you do something like that.

"Some of it is difficult to talk about, but I think that after writing it and now it’s out there, I feel better."

Eddie has also now moved on and shared a picture with his new girlfriend, a personal trainer from Essex. People have been quick to notice that his new partner looks a lot like his ex, but Eddie had a quick response to those comments.

Alongside a loved-up picture, Eddie wrote: "Bank holiday" followed by several hashtags: "#shhhthereyougo #idontdohating #thankstothenicepeople #happy."

One of his followers commented: "Anyone going to state the obvious?"

Eddie was quick to respond to the comment with a dig, as he said: "Yeah, I'm happier than I've ever been… Well spotted."

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