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Andrea McLean announced on today's Loose Women that she is leaving the show after 13 years on the panel.
Speaking to her fellow hosts Linda Robson, Brenda Edwards and Saira Khan on Monday, Andrea revealed she has made the difficult decision to focus on her website and brand, 'This Girl is on Fire' and will be leaving the show at Christmas.
During a segment about how the Covid-19 pandemic has made us reflect on our lives, Andrea explained how it has had a profound impact on her.
She explained: "Like so many people this has been a time to hugely reflect and think back. So many people have been talking about how they can't wait for life to get back to normal. I, like many people, did that and thought, 'Do I want my life to go back to the normal that it was before?'
"Obviously last year I had a nervous breakdown and what I felt is that this year collectively the world has had a breakdown. The experience that I had has meant that this year that I have actually been mentally really strong to deal with everything that the pandemic threw at all of us but it made me stop and think, 'What do I actually want?'"
She continued: "You get one life, are you living it the way that you want? And are you doing everything that you want to do? Are you being brave? Are you taking chances? And I realised, no."
Beginning to well up as she spoke, Andrea added: "I didn't think I was going to cry. I've told you ladies just before we came on air. I'm going to be leaving Loose Women because I want to be brave...all the incredible feedback that I had from my book and the support I was able to give them, I want to bring it to life.
"It was a really, really big decision to jump and see if I fall or if I fly. And I just thought, I will never know unless I try, so I am saying goodbye to Loose Women."
It was an emotional moment for fans, who flocked to social media to say they were sorry to hear she was leaving.
"Brave lady, will be sorely missed," one wrote. "One of my fave Loose Women but she's gunna be great."
"Oh Andrea, you will be missed. Good luck in all that you do!" another said.
A third chipped in: "I don't normally get upset but your tears made me cry!"
The panel were similarly emotional.
"I am going to miss you so much, Andrea. Honestly you have been amazing and a real good friend to me. When I was going through my depression and everything, you were the one that was ringing all the time to see that I was okay," Linda tearfully said.
Andrea went on to reveal how the decision was totally hers and the support she has received behind the scenes.
"ITV have been amazing," she said. "I have been anchoring Loose Women for 13 years now and I have been part of ITV daytime for 23 and actually the team have been so wonderful [saying] 'Can we help, can we give you less days so you can focus on your business?'
"I am not saying goodbye to telly either... You just never know unless you try, I just want to put myself out there, see what the universe has in store, help as many women as I possibly can in whatever that means but for now it means with my website and all the love and effort that I am putting into that, that will be my focus."
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