09/04/2012 11:02 BST

Natalie Cassidy Joins 'Loose Women'

Natalie Cassidy is set to put her tumultuous private life to good use after signing up to become a Loose Women panellist.

The former EastEnders star will join the opinionated team on Friday after impressing bosses with her previous appearances on the show.

Natalie told The Mirror: "Ever since Celebrity Big Brother people have been tweeting that they'd love to see me as a Loose Woman and now it's happening. I can be very opinionated."

Her hiring comes after Janet Street Porter and Jane McDonald were forced off the panel after coming down with shingles. Natalie's Celebrity Big Brother co-star Denise Welch is also currently absent while gearing up to star in a national tour of Steel Magnolias.

The actress-turned-reality TV regular has plenty of experience to draw from when discussing hot topics with her fellow anchors - she's admitted to downing laxatives to lose weight and recently reunited with Adam Cottrell, who was convicted of assaulting the star during a bust-up last year.

After revealing she had taken her ex back, Natalie blamed his behaviour on drink.

She told The People newspaper: "I now realise everything that happened between Adam and myself was down to alcohol. Adam wanting a drink, Adam having a drink, Adam feeling guilty about having a drink."

The couple have a daughter together, Eliza, and she was part of the reason why Natalie decided to take back Adam, who has been sober for two months.