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Judy Finnegan to join Loose Women

Former This Morning presenter Judy Finnigan is returning to TV after signing up to become a regular panellist on ITV's Loose Women.

Also joining the panel for the new series beginning next week are Penny Lancaster - the photographer wife of singer Rod Stewart - and veteran broadcaster Gloria Hunniford

And former X Factor judge Sharon Osbourne will also make a comeback to Loose Women as a guest co-host of the afternoon show.

Finnigan, 66, has been largely off screen since her chat show on digital channel Watch with husband Richard Madeley ended five years ago.

In an interview last year she said of her disappearance from the screen: "I'd completely fallen out of love with TV and it was time for a change."

She will join the team of regulars - which includes Andrea McLean, Ruth Langsford, Coleen Nolan and Janet Street Porter - when the 19th series starts on Monday.

Finnigan said: "I know I said I wouldn't go back on the telly, but actually I'm looking forward to occasionally contributing to lively conversations between a group of outspoken and intelligent women."

Lancaster, who spends much of her time living in Los Angeles, said: "Having appeared on Loose Women in the past as a guest and had such fun, I am really thrilled to now become a panellist.

"I'm looking forward to spending more time in Britain and my lunchtimes with the girls and debating a broad mix of topics from the light-hearted to the more serious, in the way Loose Women does best."

Osbourne said: "'The last time I was a Loose Woman earlier this year I had such a ball with the other panellists and the audience that I can't wait to do it again. It's refreshing to be able to talk about real issues with other women while having a great laugh at the same time."

Loose Women editor Martin Frizell said: "I'm delighted we have been able to confirm more of Britain's best loved, successful, assertive and, let's face it, downright smart women to join our Loose Women team.

"Our viewers and live audience will feature more than ever before over the coming months and we're looking forward to discussing the issues that matter to viewers at home and having lots of fun."

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