Saira Khan has revealed she opted not to tell her Loose Women co-stars about her surprise departure. The 50-year-old, who has been a regular face on the ITV daytime show since September 2015, confirmed at the start of the week that she will not be back for a farewell episode.
In an interview with New! Magazine, Saira revealed the reason she slipped away quietly was down to the fact that she didn't "want a big drama" and wanted to do things on her terms. During the chat, the mum-of-two also stated that other members of the panel should think about leaving too.
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"I actually think there are other women on that show who have had their time and they need to renew and refresh," she said. "I don't mean anyone in particular, to keep that show fresh and relevant you have to look around and you know when your time is up."
The TV star announced her departure in her column for the Sunday Mirror over the weekend, explaining the coronavirus pandemic had forced her to re-evaluate her priorities. "It wasn't an easy decision, but one that I needed to make in order to grow myself in other ways," she later wrote on Instagram. "I came to the show a troubled soul and I will eternally be grateful for the platform @loosewomen gave me to share, speak up and out.
The TV star has left Loose Women after five years
"I will miss the great women who have become my very close friends. I feel honoured and privileged to have sat alongside them and learnt from them."
Saira also urged Loose Women show bosses to replace her on the panel with someone who is gay, trangender or non-binary. "I'd love my @loosewomen seat to be given to either a gay, transgender or non-binary person - that will help the show to be more reflective of the world we live in," she said. "That's what I would do if I was in charge."
The presenter opted not to tell her co-stars about her exit
Saira then noted: "I don't like formal goodbyes, so I won't be on the show to look back at my 'best bits'. That's not how I want to say goodbye." Thanking her fans for their support, the presenter concluded: "You have given me so much love and self-confidence, more than you will ever know. Thank you from the bottom of my heart."
Saira first rose to fame when she finished as runner-up on the first series of The Apprentice in 2005. Her surprise exit follows fellow Loose Woman star Andrea McLean, who left the series in December after 13 years on the panel.
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