09/07/2012 21:24 BST | Updated 22/05/2015 10:12 BST

Lee Mead: Mr Denise Van Outen Slams Smug Celeb Parents

Lee Mead talks about marriage to Denise Van Outen and being a hands-on dad PA

Lee Mead - husband of Denise Van Outen - has given a breathtakingly honest interview on the demands of parenthood and marriage - and what he thinks about 'perfect' families!

West End star Lee - who has a two-year-old daughter, Betsy, with Denise - shot to fame when he won the BBC talent show Any Dream Will Do in 2007. He says that celebs who portray family life as a bed of roses 'give the impression that it's all easy', but - as we all know - it isn't!

"You read about some famous person talking about their perfect life, but actually it's crap and it's just a perception they're putting across," Lee told New! magazine. "A lot of people give the impression that it's all perfect and easy, but life isn't. It's hard. It gets on my tits!"

Lee has just had a five month stint looking after Betsy while Denise has been working - and he admits childcare is 'definitely a full-time job'.

"Being at home with Betsy has been brilliant," he says, but reveals that more children are not immediately on the couple's agenda. "If it's going to happen, it'll happen naturally," he says, "I think we're sort of undecided. It's quite a tricky one."

And perfectly demonstrating that he is not one of those 'perfect life' portrayers, Lee fesses up that Betsy's arrival was 'test' for their relationship:

"The first few months were very hard. But it's a test of you as a couple. Thankfully, we got through that period but it's a hard, hard time."

Lee seemingly has no qualms about Denise having previously spoken out about their tough times (perhaps referring to Denise's come-back at gossips who claimed the couple were on the rocks last year - she rubbished the claims, saying: "We bicker quite a lot but it doesn't mean we are separating. My parents have bickered for 40 years and are still happily married.") - saying she was simply being 'honest':

"Denise is as she is, and has always been honest. The first year, when we were getting three or four hours sleep each night, like anything new, you have to adapt. Guys feel pushed out when you give your attention to a baby. It's like having two kids."

Lee is due to move to the States on his own for three months in August to, as he puts it 'lay some groundwork' for a career out there - while he is there, Denise and Betsy will stay in the UK.

"Thank God for Skype!" he says. "I'll also fly back a couple of times and I'll be back for Christmas. Then I go back out again for pilot season at the start of next year.

"Denise has a career here and Betsy's just started nursery so she has a routine."

And does this US move and fledgling TV career mean he is done with musicals for good?
"I'd love to do a show again, but for at least the next couple of years it'd be good to focus on the TV stuff," he says. "I did a tour in February but for the past five months, I've been a full-time daddy."

Aw, Lee and Denise seem such a lovely, normal family, don't they?

Read the full story in New! magazine, out today