The Loose Women panel have been enjoying their Christmas break off-air but, amidst the festivities, we managed to catch up with Birds of a Feather star and Loose Women presenter Linda Robson for an exclusive chat about TV bloopers, dream guests and the importance of making family time…
tombola: Loose Women is such a popular programme: what do you think is the secret of its appeal?
Linda Robson: I think because it’s women sat around chatting, so you feel like they’re in the living room with you – as though you’re all joining in. The topics are interesting and everyone’s got different views on them. Some of the younger Loose Women, like Jamelia for instance, might be different to older panel members. Then we’ve got the super-intelligent Janet Street-Porter… and the completely uneducated Linda Robson! It’s just a really nice mixture of different people.
tombola: Who has been your favourite guest on the show so far?
Linda Robson: Oh, there’s been so many now! I was really excited when Donny Osmond came on, because as a teenager I was a big fan of Donny’s and he’d got me on the stage to sing Puppy Love, so that was an exciting time. He’s just really, really nice.
We had Roger Taylor from Queen on last week and I’m a big Queen fan so that was really exciting. We’ve had so many people on there that the list goes on and on!
My nickname on there is ‘baggy mouth’ because nobody knows what I’m going to say next – including myself!
tombola: You’ve done a lot of acting throughout your career, but if you could choose one of your fellow Loose Women presenters to star in a film about your life, who would it be?
Linda Robson: I think maybe Janet Street-Porter’s voice would be most similar to mine. Sherrie Hewson is nearer to my age, but she doesn’t have the right accent… I think I’m quite like Coleen in a way – I’m very family-orientated – so a mixture of the three. And, I’d have Nadia’s cooking skills!
tombola: You’re no stranger to being in front of the camera, but live television can be a different ball game. What has been your biggest TV blooper?
Linda Robson: My nickname on there is ‘baggy mouth’ because nobody knows what I’m going to say next – including myself! On Birds of a Feather we have a sweepstake every week to see how many times I’ll swear, because I always swear when I get something wrong, and in the last episode I swore four times. That’s alright, because it’s an older audience, but you can’t say that on daytime television really.
tombola: What is your secret to balancing a successful career with motherhood? Any advice for other working mums?
Linda Robson: Basically, family comes first. I just always make sure that if there’s something special coming up, I plan ahead. My nephew’s getting married in October next year, so the first thing I did was ring my agent so I could book a week off and go out to Spain where he’s getting married. So, family life comes first.
I take my work very seriously, but I’m never happier than when I’m with my family. I don’t have to learn any lines now. I’ve learnt my panto lines and I’ve learnt my Birds of a Feather lines, because it feels like (for the past five or six months) I’ve had lines to learn every night, so it’s quite nice to just relax now and spend some time with them.
When I first started, I used to get really nervous in case I was interrupting too much.
tombola: Do your family watch Loose Women? What do they think of the show?
Linda Robson: My oldest daughter Lauren watches it, but the other two can’t really watch it because they’re both at college. My husband doesn’t watch it, but every now and again I get “What have you said on Loose Women?” I mentioned on there that he gets his back waxed and my dustman said “What’s all this about you having you back waxed?”, so he normally finds out what I’ve said on there from someone else.
I’m forever talking about my granddaughter, Lyla, on there. We were asked to record a message for the viewers yesterday (to put on the site) and I got Lyla in on the act as well, so she could wish all the Loose Women viewers a ‘Merry Christmas’.
tombola: What is the best thing about being on Loose Women? What do you enjoy most?
Linda Robson: It’s just nice – you’re going to work, having a chat with your mates and getting really glammed up. You look gorgeous when you’re leaving there at 2 o’clock! It’s just really nice and natural now. When I first started, I used to get really nervous in case I was interrupting too much, but now I just feel really relaxed with it and just enjoy it.
tombola: What is the biggest challenge for a Loose Women presenter?
Linda Robson: Reading the autocue! If we’re meant to read anything on there, I can never see it without my glasses on – it’s really, really hard! Every time something comes up I have to say, “Can you make it bigger please?”, and that’s with my glasses on! I could never be the anchor woman. Another challenge was when I first started. You feel like the new girl so you don’t feel as though you can join in as much, but now I feel like part of the team.
tombola: Who would be your dream guest on Loose Women, and why?
Linda Robson: Hmm, that’s a tough one. We’ve had Russell Brand on there and I love Russell Brand. I recently went to a Morrissey concert – I think someone really unusual like that, who you don’t often see being interviewed.
tombola: If you could recruit another Loose Women member to the team, who do you think it would be, and why?
Linda Robson: I think Lesley Joseph. We did a Birds of a Feather takeover on Loose Women with Andrea McLean when the series came out and it was a great show because of the chemistry between the three of us. I think Lesley would make a great Loose Woman, I really do. Pauline Quirke [part of the Birds of a Feather trio] hates live television so she wouldn’t even entertain the idea of it – she finds it quite painful – but I think Lesley would be really good.
tombola: Thank you for talking to us today, Linda.
Linda Robson: You’re very welcome.
The new series of Loose Women, in association with tombola, is on ITV every weekday at 12.30pm, from January 5th 2015.