ITV’s Loose Women: 9 behind-the-scenes secrets

ITV’s Loose Women: 9 behind-the-scenes secrets

 

 

It’s a momentous year for the nation’s favourite lunchtime chat show Loose Women – on Tuesday (22 January) they’re up for Best Daytime TV show at the National TV Awards, and in September, the series will celebrate its 20th anniversary, an impressive milestone.

Loose Women studio 
GOOD HOUSEKEEPING

Good Housekeeping UK were given special access behind-the-scenes at the new ITV studios, and spoke with panelists Stacey Solomon, Jane Moore, Nadia Sawalha and Andrea McLean in hair and make up to find out what happens when the cameras aren’t rolling…

1) How the panelists begin their day

“Our first meeting is at 8.45am – we discuss everything,” Andrea McLean tells us. “The producers meet up beforehand and they go through the papers, and whatever makes the headlines that day. Then they put the topics out there to the four of us. Rather than discussing it, we think about whether we’ve experienced it, and what our take is on it.

Andrea McLean on Loose Women 
ITV

“What makes us so different, is that we take something on the news and turn it into a water-cooler moment rather than discussing it as a news story. We talk solidly for an hour and then we come in here [the dressing room] so we’ve left the meeting and decided the topics for the show. We’ll talk about a few and then we chose the best.”

2) Stacey Solomon does her own makeup

The former X Factor star really is as down-to-earth in real life as she appears on the show and on Instagram.

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Stacey Solomon
ITV

“I do like doing my own make up… Sometimes my friend does it. Look at all my greys though! A bit of eyeshadow and nobody will notice,” Stacey told us.

Loose Women behind the scenes 
GOOD HOUSEKEEPING
Where the Loose Women have their make up and hair done

3) Nadia Sawalha has to get their children’s approval on a subject first

Nadia Sawalha on Loose Women

The actress and presenter has two girls with husband Mark Adderley, who are 11 and 16.

“With my children getting older, I always ring and check with them about whatever we’re discussing that day to get their permission” Nadia explained.

“I’ll say in the morning meeting, ‘This is what I think, but I can’t guarantee I can say this on the show, I just have to run it past my family’.

“So we have another meeting a few minutes before we go live to reiterate, and if there’s something that I think is contentious with my daughters, I would then in that second meeting say, ‘That bit I’m not going to say because they don’t want to me to’.

“I hate it when my daughters say, ‘Categorically no’, because that means there is no room for negotiation. At least they know how to put a boundary in place!”

4) The guests have no idea what the Loose Women will ask them before the show

Loose Women, Jane Moore 
ITV

“When a guest comes on this show, they have no idea what they’re going to be asked,” broadcaster and journalist Jane disclosed.

“I think that’s what makes some people nervous – because they’re usually in control and know what’s coming – they don’t know what’s coming on Loose Women.

Jane adds that it’s usually down to her, as a journalist, to ask the hard-hitting question that a guest may not feel completely comfortable with.

“If there’s something that a person knows they’re going to be asked about, but it’s going to be uncomfortable, it always goes to me to ask that question. And then there might be a follow-up question. When you’ve done two questions, you’re quiet because you know that there are three other people who want to say something.

“When it’s running out of time, they’ll say in your ear, ’30 seconds!’ and then you know you have to shut up because then the anchor [main host] is going to pick it up. It works well because we all know each other and we know everybody has something to say – it’s like any conversation really. It’s boring if one friend just dominates the conversation.”

5) The Lorraine studio is the Loose Women studio too

preview for Andrea McLean's pregnancy warning to women going through the menopause

When Lorraine finishes at 9.25 am, it’s turned into the Loose Women studio. TV magic!

6) The Loose Women have their own Whatsapp group

“It’s just social,” Andrea revealed. “It’s been pinging like mad because Coleen [Nolan] has a new dog so there’s lots of talk about puppies. And then there was one going around about breakfast, someone had a terrible breakfast… It’s all totally normal stuff.”

7) Everyone’s favourite guest is a toss up between Whoopi Goldberg and Oprah Winfrey

Apart from Andrea’s, because she has a soft spot for Michael Bublé.

“We had Oprah on the show and that was incredible, and we’ve had Whoopi over a few times,” Andrea recalled.

Michael Buble Performs At Telekom Street Gigs In Munich
JOERG KOCH//GETTY IMAGES

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“And Whoopi’s great, she gets it because she works on a show like this in the US. [But] For me it’s Michael Bublé – he’s adorable, he’s such nice friendly, and slightly sweary, down-to-earth man.”

8) What happens if a guest pulls out or something goes wrong

If there is a stage invasion – like the time Fathers 4 Justice ran onto the stage from their seats in the audience – the director will immediately take the show off air. But everything else, the Loose Women take in their stride.

“I think the public like it now [if something does go wrong] because it makes you more human,” Jane said. “There was one day where everything went wrong technically; there was a gremlin in the system, but we all just laughed about it and you have to just say to the people at home, ‘We’re having a problem’, and then they realise it’s live, because a lot of people think there’s a four second delay.

“We have incidents where a guest will swear, and we say we’re sorry but I think it adds to the frisson really.”

Nadia added: “If we lost both guests on the show, we’d be fine. We’d have our chat before we go on, and talk about this, let’s talk about that. We’d have enough to talk about – we usually have too much to say!”

9) Why the audience is so important

Loose Women
ITV

“The audience is so important to the show because you need to feel that warmth, and to hear the laughter, or feel the anger in what you’re saying. Our warm-up people are so important too – it’s the hardest show to do a warm-up for because you’re extremely close to the audience.

preview for Loose Women try the wine workout live on TV!

“The show wouldn’t be what it is without the audience, and we often speak with them after the show.”

Loose Women goes head-to-head with This MorningSunday BrunchThe Jeremy Kyle Show, and Good Morning Britain at the National TV Awards on Tuesday, January 22.

preview for Loose Women try the wine workout live on TV!

Loose Women airs weekdays on ITV.

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