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”Essex Girl” star Denise Van Outen has faced up to her fear of spiders by handling a tarantula for a part in a short film.

She posed with the eight-legged creature as she tackled her spider phobia.

Van Outen helped to calm her fears with a 3D film of spiders created by Sky as an arachnophobia therapy.

The film is being shown at Liverpool”s BugWorld Experience in the build up to the consumer launch of Sky 3D on October 1.

A range of spiders – from domestic and wild bugs, to nasties such as false widows and tarantulas – was filmed, with narration by actor Ralf Little, who is himself no fan of creepy crawlies.

Van Outen handled a Chilean rose tarantula after watching the film.

“I have never been good with spiders – I”m the stand-on-the-bed-screaming type,” the Mirror quoted Outen as saying.

“At times I felt like the spiders were crawling all around me and that I could almost touch them.

“I came out a far braver and calmer lady and was even prepared to hold a spider afterwards,” she said.