“I’m a very middle of the road lady, always see both sides. I’m not massively black or white. I’m always a very nice colour of grey, somewhere in the middle,” is how returning Loose Women co-anchor Andrea McLean describes herself.
It’s why she’s much happier as an anchor (a role she shares with Ruth Langsford) rather than a panellist on Loose Women.
“It’s like being Lewis Hamilton because you’ve got all this stuff going on live on air and you’re driving at 180 miles an hour and you can crash at any second. But when you come off, you’ve handled it really well, and not crashed and it’s all brilliant.”
It’s all about getting the others, which this series includes Judy Finnigan and Sharon Osbourne, to get to the heart of the debate. If things get heated? Well that’s all part of it.
“My role is to get the other ladies to talk and make sure it’s balanced in terms of opinions. I like listening, rather than giving opinions mainly. I think that they’re just a lot more interesting than I am.
“If I don’t agree I put that to one side, but what I’ll do is ask ‘what about the argument XYZ?’. All it is is a discussion. It’s just people’s opinion. If tempers flair, it means you really, really care. You genuinely believe what you’re saying.
“It’s a really healthy, good, vigorous thing,” McLean adds.
Debates don’t tend to carry on when the cameras stop rolling McLean reveals, saying, “It’s all wrapped up”. On air, “it’s a really good bunch of mates that you can go ‘rrraaar that’s nonsense’ and then be laughing two minutes later.”
One thing the Loose Women panellists did want to continue off air was more time with McLean’s favourite guest Michael Bublé.
“What’s great about him is he’s so cheeky. He was one of the ones that sat down and went, ‘Right ladies!’ Obviously a very confident man who is not fazed by anybody and he’s obviously been raised by a good strong woman.
“We were still chatting when we came off set and we all wanted to go to the pub with him. His favourite drink was Jack Daniels and Coke. But he couldn’t, he had to do something else. But we would have absolutely loved it.”
So, who else would McLean love to welcome to the panel? “Victoria Beckham. I’d love to have Victoria Beckham. I think she’s brilliant.”
Loose Women returns today at 12:30 on ITV