Loose Women veteran Carol McGiffin will be returning to the show this week, after almost five years away.

The popular panellist first joined the show in 2003, four years after it’s release on ITV in 1999.

In fact, Carol, 58, actually still holds the record for the most appearances on the programme – starring in 1,172 episodes between 2003 and her departure in 2013. Impressive!

Of her return to the topical daytime show, Carol said, “Almost exactly five years ago I did my last show on Loose Women, and I have to admit I’ve really missed it – in more ways than one! – so I’m absolutely delighted to be back on the show next week.

“I’m a bit nervous, but mostly I’m excited to be sitting behind that desk again with the girls, doing what I do best – talking rubbish!”

Loose Women Editor Sally Shelford also praised Carol and noted that it was an apt time for her to return, given that the show has just marked 3,000 episodes.

She said, “Carol has played an important part in the show’s 19 year history and is a much-loved part of the Loose family.

“We’re in a celebratory mood having recently marked 3000 episodes, so it seemed like the perfect time to invite Carol back onto the panel for a catch up and to hear some of those famous opinions once again.”

However, Carol famously suffered some awkward moments with the show following her departure.

Back in September 2017, she slammed the programme for ‘airbrushing’ her from its history – after she was noticeably absent from footage marking an anniversary.

She also wasn’t asked to return to the programme for it’s anniversary episode, alongside Denise Welch, who was also snubbed.

Taking to social media, she ranted over not being invited back. She told one fan online, “Don’t be daft Aaron, I only did 13 years and over 1,000 shows, why would I even be asked?!”

While she said to another, “All is very well thanks, and it’s ok, I don’t mind being more or less airbrushed from LW history.”

Of being omitted from the footage, she again responded to a fellow social media user, “You’re not the only one who noticed….it’s not like they didn’t have a lot of material to choose from! #1,174shows.”

Eek! Happily, it looks like things are all well again in LW/Carol land…

Carol McGiffin will return to Loose Women this week.