EXCLUSIVE: Who is Denise Van Outen’s new man? A racy stint on Big Brother Italy, failed pop career and a flirty exchange with Cheryl – Jimmy Barba’s many brushes with fame before finding love with the star
Denise Van Outen‘s new boyfriend Jimmy Barba was once an Italian reality star who sent flirty messages to the likes of Cheryl and Laura Woods, MailOnline can reveal.
The singer, 48, went public with her new man Jimmy, 55, this week when they attended the Grand Prix Ball – five months after she split from her cheating ex Eddie Boxshall.
Denise has enjoyed a long life in the spotlight, starring on various shows and demonstrating her vocal talents on the West End, and it’s now been revealed that her new partner has forged a similar career path.
Brushes with fame: Denise Van Outen’s new boyfriend Jimmy Barba was once an Italian reality star (pictured right on Big Brother Italy) who sent flirty messages to the likes of Cheryl and Laura Woods, MailOnline can reveal
Back in 2010, Jimmy became a household name in Italy after starring in the eleventh series of Big Brother (Grande Fratello) where he finished in fourth place.
While he may not have won the series and bagged the €300,000 grand prize, he kept audiences entertained during his stint by striking up romances with two of his fellow housemates, Rosa Baiano and Margherita Zanatta.
What followed was a short-lived pop career, with Jimmy releasing three singles between 2012 and 2013 – although they failed to light up the charts.
More recently, Jimmy – who described his career as being a dancer and farmer when he appeared on Grande Fratello – has shunned the world of showbiz to become a property developer.
Cute couple: The singer, 48, went public with her new man Jimmy, 55, this week when they attended the Grand Prix Ball – five months after she split from her cheating ex Eddie Boxshall
However, the British-Italian star did reveal that he still has an interest in celebrity culture when he struck up a conversation with the likes of singer Cheryl and Sky Sports’ Laura Woods.
In 2019, Jimmy was quick to offer himself up as a romantic prospect for Cheryl, 34, who tweeted: ‘Wanna be my Valentine?!’ prompting Jimmy to quickly respond ‘Yep.’
In December 2021 Jimmy was quick to call Laura ‘Beautiful’ with a kissing emoji after she shared a snap showing off one of her outfits.
Jimmy is said to have been dating Denise for a few weeks after being introduced through All Saints star Shaznay Lewis, with an insider telling MailOnline they have been ‘on a few dates.’
‘It’s early days but everything is going really well and Denise is happy,’ the source revealed.
Stripping off: Back in 2010, Jimmy became a household name in Italy after starring in the eleventh series of Big Brother
Singing sensation: What followed from Big Brother was a short-lived pop career, with Jimmy releasing three singles between 2012 and 2013
Match made in heaven? The couple appear to have much in common with photos of Jimmy posted to his social media grid showing him taking to the stage with a microphone in hand
Sources told MailOnline the couple have been dating for a few weeks after being introduced by a mutual friend.
The entrepreneur owns Whiteditch Lane Development LTD and based on photos added to his Twitter account appears to be a father to a young daughter.
Denise is mother to 10-year-old Betsy whom she shares with ex partner Lee Mead and while she has performed in many West End shows Jimmy too is a singer.
Denise went Instagram official with Jimmy on Thursday morning, sharing photos of the two cuddled up at the event and dining with friends.
Cheeky! In 2019, Jimmy was quick to offer himself up as a romantic prospect for Cheryl, 34, who tweeted: ‘Wanna be my Valentine?!’ prompting Jimmy to quickly respond ‘Yep.’
Hello there: In December 2021 Jimmy was quick to call Sky Sports’ Laura Woods ‘Beautiful’ with a kissing emoji after she shared a snap showing off one of her outfits
The couple appear to have much in common with photos posted to his social media grid showing him taking to the stage with a microphone in hand.
It’s Denise’s first relationship since she revealed she had split from partner of seven years Eddie in a New Year’s Instagram post, after initially discovering his infidelities in November 2021.
She caught Eddie flirting sexually with three women and has described his behaviour as ‘disrespectful and devastatingly hurtful’.
Denise claimed that she found pictures and Instagram messages on Eddie’s iPad, detailing the ordeal in her autobiography, A Bit Of Me: From Basildon To Broadway And Back.
Denise wrote: ‘There were also Instagram messages alluding to phone sex with a third woman. I quickly found the woman’s profile by her screen name, only to discover I’d previously blocked her on my Instagram account – which struck me as odd.’
She continued: ‘This was a woman I didn’t know, who’d clearly had an online connection with my boyfriend. Why would I have blocked her from my Instagram account. Straight away, I unblocked her and sent her a message saying how she knew Eddie.’
She added: ‘She suggested that Eddie had probably gone into my phone and blocked her so she couldn’t message me.
‘She has apparently spoken to Eddie over FaceTime and text for a long period – often from our home and sometimes from my flat in Hampstead, which she seemed to think was his.
‘They’d never met in person, but she said the conversations had become sexual in nature reasonably quickly – some of the stuff I found on the phone seemed to support that.
‘However she was upset with Eddie because he’d apparently ghosted her.’
Split: Denise announced she had split from Eddie Boxshall in January after discovering he had cheated on her during their seven year relationship (pictured February 2020)