Loose Women icon supported by pals as shes forced to step back from ITV show

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    Carol McGiffin has left Loose Women after appearing on the ITV daytime show on and off for over 20 years.

    Following a two-month absence from the panel, the TV star, 63, explained to fans that she's had to step away from the stress of the programme and shard couldn't picture herself returning.

    Her co-stars were left 'gutted' following the news but were quick to show their love on social media.

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    Carol shared snippets from her interview with Best magazine on her Instagram page on Tuesday (May 2).

    She explained in the caption: "This week's @bestmagoffiical explains why i've not been on Loose Women for a while…."

    The former Celebrity Big Brother contestant was flooded with messages from her Loose Women collegues.

    Denise Welch commented: "Gutted Mcgiff truly."

    Brenda Edwards added: ""Carol, I always enjoy when you are on as we have such a laugh, but you of course must always do what is best for you! I really hope I get to see you again love you lots lovely lady. Keep Smiling."

    Nadia Sawalha wrote: "Miss you smelly poo! Even though we disagreed on most things you’ve always made me laugh my head off! As I’ve always said thank god we weren’t at school together it would have been #carnage !! Big hugs x"

    Charlene White said: "I really miss you, and am so gutted xx"

    Carol's shock exit is said to have followed the "stress" over upcoming contract negotiations that had been impacting her life.

    She said: "I haven't been on the show for two months now because I've had to step away from it.

    "The problem was, ITV were insisting, for the first time since I went back in 2018, that if I wanted to carry on doing the show, I would have to sign a contract that was totally unjust and unworkable for me, so I had to say no thanks.

    "And I know it looks like I've thrown my toys out of the pram, but the whole saga was affecting my health.

    "It's not really that I've left, I'm just not doing it at the moment.

    "I feel quite upset about it, if I'm honest, because although it is my decision, I felt like it was one I was being forced to make."

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    ITV did not wish to comment.

    It's not the emotional farewell that the stars of Loose Women have been faced with recently as they also waved goodbye to deputy editor Tom after working with ITV for 15 years.

    Kaye Adams praised Tom saying: "We're hoping he's going to be a boomerang and come back to us, we will miss him so so much.

    "He is a wonderful colleague and an even more wonderful friend."

    Loose Women airs weekdays at 12.30pm on ITV1

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