Nadia Sawalha says she ‘hates’ cancel culture

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Nadia Sawalha, 56, has been a much-loved panellist on the Loose Women team since the show first began in 1999. However, she has opened up in an exclusive chat with Express.co.uk about how strange it was to return to the studio after lockdown.

When the first lockdown came into force back in March 2020, viewers will remember Loose Women was one of the casualties.

The panel show was cancelled like many other in-studio shows over coronavirus concerns.

Speaking to Express.co.uk, Nadia revealed what it was like behind the scenes at this time.

She said: “I’ve been on it since it started 21 years ago.

“It was a terrible shock when we all got that call that day that said, ‘Nobody can come in.’

“Oh my god, I mean I think we had two, three months where the show wasn’t on and it was just horrendous.

“And at one point we thought that it might never come back.”

Thankfully, the show was brought back with new restrictions later in 2020 as it began to be pre-recorded.

But the presenter admitted these changes in place were “sad” and felt “so odd.”

She continued: “That first day when we were back, oh my god it was so incredible, sad, very sad at the same time – because everything had changed.

“You know, there was no audience in this huge Ant & Dec studio, just a vast cavernous studio, that was just so odd.

“We’ve always been in front of an audience and it was just the weirdest feeling.

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“But of course, we had just such gratitude to be back, and then we had this weird situation where, you know, always Loose Women have always been in and out of each other’s dressing rooms and howling with laughter.”

She explained how they now had to have individual drivers bringing them in.

They also needed to call to say they were outside so they could check they had left their dressing rooms empty for 45 minutes between people.

Currently, the show has a mix of in-studio panellists and guests as well as some appearing via video link.

However, Nadia admitted she hopes this changes soon as lockdown eases.

She added: “I think really soon we’re gonna have four women back in the studio so that’s very exciting.”

Nadia was speaking as a part of a new campaign with Network Rail and British Transport Police.

They are working to encourage parents to talk to their children about safety on the railway tracks.

As a mother to two girls, Kiki, 13, and Maddy, 18, Nadia explained how this was something she felt passionately about.

She said: “I think even the most sensible kid can get caught up in peer pressure.

“So even if you think that your child would never do anything like that, it’s worth having a conversation with them.”

Nadia Sawalha is supporting Network Rail and British Transport Police’s campaign. Find out more and watch the campaign film at youvstrain.co.uk.

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