Last month we interviewed Ruth Langsford, who confided to us that the elegant and poised Jane Moore secretly wore Converse sneakers under the Loose Women desk! (When her feet were hidden, that is.) Before Thursday’s show, we caught up with Jane herself to get the scoop on how she’s finding the new series, who her dream guest would be and how one of the longest-standing Loose Women presenters juggles her busy schedule.
Loose Women is such a popular programme: what do you think is the secret of its appeal?
Hopefully, our viewers feel as if they are joining a bunch of their friends for a lively chat on a wide range of issues, some serious, some light-hearted. That’s what we’re aiming for and, judging by the viewer response, it works.
We have a high interaction from viewers via social media, but also when we’re out and about. People are very comfortable approaching us because they feel as if they know us, and that’s nice.
How are you enjoying the new series? What is different?
The set, for starters. It’s warmer and a little more grown-up. The studio audience has moved closer to us, which means they get far more involved, which is great for them and the presenters too.
As for the content, we aim to have one fairly serious debate per show, then the rest flows much like any conversation between four friends – with lots of personal insight and humour. More often than not, it’s the main debate that gets the viewers going, but sometimes we can get an overwhelming response to something much lighter, such as ‘are you a cat or dog person?’.
“My kids were hugely impressed when I got to sit alongside singer Ariana Grande.”
How do you feel about your new team members?
We all genuinely get on. I have known Nadia (above) and Kaye the longest, because we did the pilot and first couple of series of Loose Women together in the days before electricity!
I rejoined last October and already it feels as though I have never been away. I’m very lucky, because on the days I’m doing Loose Women, I leap out of bed with a big smile on my face at the thought of the day ahead. There aren’t many jobs you can say that about!
It’s fantastic to work with such a great mix of women and, even though we might have a difference of opinion on screen, off-screen we all get on like a house on fire. The morning meeting is hilarious. We all sit there with no make-up on, nursing strong cappuccinos and having a good gossip. Then someone reminds us that we have work to do and we have to focus on that day’s show.
How do you feel the audience has adapted to the new format?
Loose Women is a national TV treasure. There has been a lot of reaction to the change of format and set: the viewers appear to really like it. It’s like having a best friend who has been blonde for 10 years and suddenly turns brunette!
So, initially, there was a lot of reaction to the change of format and set, some positive, some negative. But now it has settled down and the improved ratings show that the viewers really like it.
Who has been your favourite guest on the show so far?
This is a tough question as there have been so many fascinating guests. That’s another of the joys of this show – getting to meet so many interesting people in such an informal setting.
Jonathan Ross made a great honorary Loose Woman recently. So too – believe it or not – did Hulk Hogan! Cilla Black was delightful and my kids were hugely impressed when I got to sit alongside singer Ariana Grande.
But I think my favourite of all was Sharon Osbourne, who joined us as a guest panellist last series and is coming on again soon. She was funny, irreverent, insightful and happy to share her vulnerabilities. The perfect Loose Woman.
“[Employers] should be bending over backwards to keep us by making our working lives manageable alongside parenthood.”
If you were going to write one of your fellow Loose Women presenters into your next novel, who would it be and why?
They are all such interesting women, I could probably feature every last one of them in some way. But if I have to choose one, it would probably be Andrea McLean because she’s gorgeous inside and out and yet still single. She deserves a happy-ever-after scenario.
Talking of which… as a busy Loose Women presenter and journalist, can we expect to get our hands on a new Jane Moore book anytime soon?
I have written six and, after the last one, decided to take a break. I write a lot as a journalist, so writing books started to feel like a chore rather than a joy. However, for a change, I am thinking about writing a children’s book – so watch this space!
What is your secret to balancing a successful career with motherhood? Any advice for other working mums?
Clone yourself! Seriously though, I am very lucky because I have a supportive husband, mother and a couple of older daughters who can always step in for babysitting!
It makes such a difference if you have a good support network around you, but I understand that a lot of people don’t. This is why I keep banging on about employers being more flexible with working mothers. We make fantastic employees because we are loyal, hard-working and very adept at multi-tasking – and they should be bending over backwards to keep us by making our working lives manageable alongside parenthood.
My advice to working mums is to always ask for help when you need it and don’t be too hard on yourself. We all muddle along in our own sweet way, absolutely NO-ONE is perfect.
“I think it’s great for my daughters to see a show where strong women get to air their views.”
What do your daughters think of the show?
They love it, particularly the younger one (who’s 10) because she likes to come in with me during the school holidays and meet someone famous! And she gets to help herself from the crew’s sweetie jar whilst I’m on air and can’t tell her off.
I think it’s great for my daughters to see a show where strong women get to air their views.
What is the best thing about being in Loose Women? What do you enjoy most?
It’s truly the best job in television. I get to hang out with my mates, have a good old chat, and get paid for it. Who could ask for more?
What is the biggest challenge for a Loose Women presenter?
It’s a live show so there are always legal considerations on certain subjects, and of course we must make sure we are well researched on every topic and have something worthwhile or funny to say about it. The biggest challenge, I think, is getting the balance of subjects right. Life is a mixture of lively debate, heated arguments and laughter and it’s important that the show reflects that.
Who would be your dream guest on Loose Women, and why?
David Bowie. Swoon. He’s a musical hero of mine, but I’m not sure I would be able to speak, so the others would have to ask all the questions!
Behind the scenes, how do you prepare for each Loose Women show? Do you have a routine?
Very much so. Morning meeting at 8.45am with lots of coffee! The producer has a list of potential subjects and the presenters bring their own ideas too, then we throw them in to the mix and see what comes out.
Some subjects wither on the vine, others prompt a lively exchange of views, then the producer goes away and chooses what they feel is a good mix of topics for the show.
Then it’s into make-up and wardrobe and on set by 12.15 pm, ready to go live at 12.30.
“We sometimes have a challenge where we have to try and be the first to say a certain word during a show, such as, say, avocado or mermaid.”
Do you and the other Loose Women ever get together off-set? If you do, where do you go?
Yes, frequently. We will sometimes do a spontaneous lunch after the show at a cafe near the studio, or make evening arrangements depending on who’s around. A lot of the presenters live miles out of London, so they can only come if they are staying overnight for some reason. We also get together at charity events and so on.
We love checking out the Loose Women presenters’ outfits. Do you choose your own outfits or do you have people to pick them out for you?
The delightful wardrobe ladies provide them for us. They know the likes and dislikes of each presenter and try to accommodate us all. Coleen likes to wear a top with a jacket and a big necklace, Andrea and Ruth look fab in dresses, and me and Nadia most definitely favour tops and trousers!
Is it true that Elton John was the best man at your wedding? Did he have a rider – and what was his best man’s speech like?
Yes. And no, he didn’t have a rider! His speech, as you might expect, was very irreverent and funny.
Are you superstitious? Do you have a lucky number, or a lucky charm?
No. I’m far too logical to be superstitious.
Do you believe we make our own luck?
Health issues aside, yes. Although I don’t see it as luck. I see it as preparation meeting opportunity.
Tell us a secret, or something we don’t know, about one of your fellow Loose Women.
I’ll tell you something about all of us. We sometimes have a challenge where we have to try and be the first to say a certain word during a show, such as, say, avocado or mermaid. Only during the more light-hearted topics of course. Even if I say so myself, I’m pretty good at it!
The new series of Loose Women, in association with tombola, is on ITV every weekday at 12.30pm.