Andrea McLean speaks out after Loose Women exit to reveal why she ‘stepped off’ alone

Andrea McLean attends the Chelsea Flower Show 2018 on May 21, 2018 in London, England
(Image credit: Photo by Jeff Spicer/Getty Images)

Andrea McLean has spoken out after leaving ITV's Loose Women to reveal why she “stepped off into the unknown” after 13 years. 

Andrea McLean became a much-loved presence on our screens after spending a momentous 13 years as a panellist on popular ITV daytime (opens in new tab) show, Loose Women. Fans were therefore left more than a little devastated back in November 2020 when Andrea announced that she was leaving (opens in new tab). Opening up on her reasons at the time, the star told her fellow panellists that she had come to reassess what she wanted from her career and her life.

“Last year I had a nervous breakdown. What I felt is that this year, collectively, the world has had a breakdown,” she bravely explained. 

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“It made me stop and think, ‘What do I actually want?’ You get one life, are you living it the way that you want? Are you doing everything that you want to do? Are you being brave? Are you taking chances? And I realised, no.”

Andrea later confirmed that she would continue on Loose Women until Christmas, with Charlene White announced as her replacement (opens in new tab) on the panel. 

Now Andrea has given further insight into how she came to decide to leave. During an appearance on the Sliding Doors podcast, the broadcaster shared that her heart was no longer in it when it came to her prestigious former role. 

Linda Robson, Saira Khan, Andrea McLean and Coleen Nolan attend the National Television Awards 2020 at The O2 Arena

As reported by, she told the podcast, “I felt is this the most stupid decision in the whole world because I'm so lucky that I've got a job. One, I've got a job working in entertainment when theatres are closing and people are losing their work."

Andrea continued: "I had a steady job. I was working on daytime TV but my heart didn't feel like it was the right thing to do. Even though my head was going, 'mortgage, bills... hello, children to feed.'"

However, it seems that the difficult times faced by people across the world during the Covid-19 pandemic contributed to Andrea’s final decision. 

"I'm 51 and this pandemic has shown us you do not know how long you've got,” she said.  "You don't know what is around the corner. There are people smarter than you that have made all of these forecasts in 2020 and none of them happened."

Andrea McLean attends the ITV Palooza 2019 at The Royal Festival Hall on November 12, 2019 in London, England

Andrea went on to add: "Just because you think awful things may be around the corner you need to flip it 180 and think maybe there are amazing things around the corner.

"I literally wrote the email and just stepped off into the unknown,” she shared, referencing how she detailed her major life decision to Loose Women’s show bosses.

Prior to stepping down, Andrea showcased her writing skills with her latest book, This Girl Is On Fire: How To Live, Learn and Thrive in a Life You Love.

Now following her Loose Women exit, she has also devoted herself to female empowerment site,, which she co-founded. 

Emma Shacklock
Senior Lifestyle Writer

Emma is a Senior Lifestyle Writer with six years of experience working in digital publishing, ranging from book publishing to magazines. She currently looks after all things Lifestyle for Woman&Home,, and My Imperfect Life.