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06/09/2019 07:24 BST | Updated 06/09/2019 07:29 BST

20 Times Loose Women Served Up Controversy At Lunchtime

The ITV lunchtime show is celebrating its 20th birthday, and it's never been far from the headlines during its time on air.

Rex/Shutterstock/ITV/Ken McKay

Putting together a presenting line-up of four of the most uninhibited and opinionated stars in showbiz and having them debate the biggest headlines of the day means that every episode of Loose Women is a potential scandal waiting to happen.

Over the years, the lunchtime panel show has had its fair share of controversial moments, with panelists past and present like Denise WelchColeen NolanJamelia and Janet Street-Porter all making the headlines for some reason or another over comments they’ve made on the show.

From tensions on the panel, to guests and their colourful language (not to mention the small matter of incidents like inviting viewers to comment on whether women’s behaviour can ever invite rape or Jamelia’s ill-advised remarks about plus-sized fashion), here are a handful of the most memorable Loose Women scandals from over the years…

  • Judy Finnigan's comments on 'non-violent rape'
    Judy Finnigan's comments on 'non-violent rape'
    Rex/Ken McKay/ITV
    In her very first appearance on the Loose Women panel, Judy caused outcry with her comments defending convicted rapist Ched Evans and his potential return to football, insisting he'd "served his time".

    She added: "The rape was not violent, he didn't cause any bodily harm to the person."

    The backlash didn't exactly set Judy's time on Loose Women off to a flying start, and she made only a handful of appearances afterwards...
  • Coleen Nolan vs Kim Woodburn
    Coleen was brought together with her former Celebrity Big Brother adversary Kim Woodburn in an attempt to settle their feud.

    However, things quickly turned nasty between the pair, with Kim breaking down as she discussed her traumatic childhood, before walking off the show and branding Coleen "lying trash".

    Loose Women producers were heavily criticised for not intervening, while Coleen took a short hiatus after the debacle when she became the subject of abuse on social media.
  • Harvey Price drops the C-bomb
    Harvey Price drops the C-bomb
    PA Wire/PA Images
    Katie Price's son was responsible for one of the most infamous Loose Women moments ever, when he dropped the C-bomb live on air during a conversation about online trolling. 

    Katie immediately told Harvey off for his language, while host Andrea McLean issued a swift apology, but some viewers complained to Ofcom.
  • 'Gay Cake Row'
    YouTube
    Loose Women viewers called for Coleen Nolan to be sacked after she appeared to compare supporting gay rights to supporting ISIS, during a discussion about the infamous "cake row" in Northern Ireland.
  • 'Is it ever a woman's fault if she is raped?'
    'Is it ever a woman's fault if she is raped?'
    This social media poll obviously landed the show in seriously hot water, with critics suggesting that a topic as serious as rape shouldn't be up for debate at all, in particular on a lunchtime panel show.
  • Janet Street-Porter comes for Prince George
    Janet Street-Porter comes for Prince George
    Karwai Tang via Getty Images
    JSP has always been a polarising figure, but when she saw a photo of Prince George on the show and compared him to a "cross-dressing billionaire", she managed to raise even more eyebrows than usual.
  • 'Get ready to bleep this!'
    YouTube
    Unaware the show was being aired completely live, the late Joan Rivers branded Russell Crowe "a piece of fucking shit" in a pre-watershed moment that had the whole panel cringing.

    In an interview in the days that followed, the late comedy legend spoke of her glee at being promptly removed from the studio during an ad break.
  • Rupert Everett drops an F-bomb
    YouTube
    Another Loose Women guest who let their mouth run away with them was Rupert Everett, who accidentally dropped the F-bomb during an interview in 2013, going on to recall thinking he had a "terrible disease" after an AIDS scare in the 1980s.

    Luckily, Lisa Maxwell saw the funny side of his gaffe, piping up quickly to suggest the disease he was talking about was actually Tourette's.
  • Jamelia has her say on plus-size fashion
    YouTube
    Jamelia was at the centre of a Loose Women scandal when she gave her views on whether High Street shops should stock plus-size clothes.

    In comments that were quickly shared all over the Internet, Jamelia explained: "I am all for celebrating people as they are... but I do not think it's right to facilitate people living an unhealthy lifestyle. I do think that you should feel uncomfortable if you are unhealthy."
  • Jamelia talks older mums
    Jamelia talks older mums
    Steve Meddle/Rex/ITV
    Plus-size fashion isn't the only hot topic that has landed Jamelia in hot water, though, after she was criticised for comments she made about women who choose to become mothers later in life.

    One such critic was Tina Malone, who had a baby via IVF at 50 years old, who said she was "furious" with Jamelia, tweeting that at her age: "I am fitter, look better, have more energy, can cook, work, clean, and go [all night]... and I have a 32-year-old!! And Jamelia, I am wiser!!!"

    It was later reported the Superstar singer had been dropped from the show as a result of the controversy.
  • Nadia Sawalha says being transgender is 'a trend'
    Nadia Sawalha says being transgender is 'a trend'
    ITV
    Nadia was faced with a Twitter backlash when she suggested that the rise in children identifying as transgender was "the in thing" and compared it to "self-harm", calling it a "fashionable word that has been taken on".
  • Gloria Hunniford sparks upset with transgender comments
    Gloria Hunniford sparks upset with transgender comments
    Ken McKay/ITV/REX/Shutterstock
    In January 2019, Gloria sparked 30 complaints to Ofcom when she was accused of bigotry over comments she made during a debate about whether trans women should be allowed on female-only wards in hospitals.

    "If a man still had his willy and his tackle, as far as I’m concerned, he/she is a man," Gloria stated.

    Fortunately, Stacey Solomon was on the panel to offer a counter-opinion, saying: "Just as you wouldn’t want to be on a ward with the opposite gender, these women, who identify as women but have different body parts, they feel exactly they same as you – they do not want to be on a ward with men, because they have always felt they are a woman."
  • Tensions on the panel
    YouTube
    Denise Welch revealed during an interview with Piers Morgan that she'd refused to sit on the Loose Women panel with Janet Street-Porter – though judging from this video, where JSP walks off immediately after being asked about Denise – there's not exactly any love lost between them.

    However, since Denise's return to the panel in 2018, she's regularly sat alongside Janet, so we're assuming they've now put aside their differences. 
  • Coleen Nolan and her son
    Coleen Nolan and her son
    Ken McKay/ITV
    Coleen Nolan caused a stir in 2005, when she suggested that if her 16-year-old son passed his exams, she would pay for him to to have sex with a sex worker in Amsterdam's Red Light District.

    Despite criticism, Coleen stood by her comments at the time, insisting she'd rather he went there than a trip to Ibiza where he would "probably have unprotected sex with lots of girls".

    She insisted: "I'd rather he does it somewhere well-policed and where the girls have health checks than behind the wall of a club in Ibiza." Meanwhile, her ex-husband, Shane Richie, said he was "appalled" by Coleen's suggestion.
  • Penny Lancaster goes IN on Sarah Harding
    YouTube
    Good grief, we still feel exhausted every single time we watch this video.

    Sarah Harding was only appearing on the show to promote her then-upcoming appearance on The Jump, but ended up having all of her shortcomings brought up one after the other during her interview.

    The *ahem* fun starts at around the 4:20 mark.
  • Jacqueline Jossa hits out at the show
    Jacqueline Jossa hits out at the show
    Rex Shutterstock/ITV
    The EastEnders actress blasted the show in 2016 when she claimed that her interview contained a line of questioning related to her fiancé's past relationship, and allegations of abuse and threats, which she'd not been briefed about beforehand.
  • Sam Faiers' partner criticises show over kissing debate
    But Jacqueline Jossa isn't the only celebrity to have issues with Loose Women over one of the show's debates.

    Paul Knightley – best known as reality star Sam Faiers' partner – voiced his upset when the panel picked apart a scene from The Mummy Diaries in which he kissed his mother on the lips.

    “I don’t like them bitches," Paul told Sam in a later episode of The Mummy Diaries, after learning the former TOWIE star would be appearing on the panel once again.
  • THAT Katie Hopkins interview
    THAT Katie Hopkins interview
    Rex/Ken McKay/ITV
    Shortly after her eviction from the Celebrity Big Brother house, Loose Women invited Katie Hopkins onto the show to offer her side of her time in the house.

    However, the interview came under fire not because of what Katie said, but because of how quickly things turned personal between both Katie and the panellists.
  • Former Loose Women hit out at show
    Former Loose Women hit out at show
    Rex/Shutterstock/ITV/Ken McKay
    Loose Women staples Carol McGiffin and Denise Welch departed the show on acrimonious terms back in 2013, amid a change of top boss.

    They later hit out at the show when they were 'airbrushed' out of the series' 18th birthday celebrations in 2017, both taking to Twitter to air their upset.

    Interestingly, both Carol and Denise have since returned to Loose Women, and are still regularly featured on the panel.
  • Linda Robson apologises to the entire city of Stoke-On-Trent
    Linda Robson apologises to the entire city of Stoke-On-Trent
    Ken McKay/ITV/REX/Shutterstock
    Linda was on the show during a debate about a woman who was hit with a criminal record for picking up a £20 note she found in a corner shop.

    She was later forced to issue an apology when noting that the shop in question looked "poor", adding: "It looks like they don’t have a lot of money, the people who shop in there."

    The panellist eventually apologised, telling the Daily Star: "I’m really, really sorry if i’ve upset anybody."
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