Loose Women Nadia Sawalha and Kaye Adams tell Closer about bonding over gin and tonic - and what their fellow panellist Katie Price is REALLY like...
When we catch up with Loose Women Nadia Sawalha and Kaye Adams, it's immediately obvious that they are genuinely best friends.
More like sisters than pals, they're constantly laughing at in-jokes and winding each other up.
But it wasn't always like that. When they were first introduced, during an audition for the daytime show 20 years ago, the pair didn't ever think they'd be able to work together.
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Kaye admits: "We immediately didn't like the look of one another," as Nadia adds: "It was so bad that I actually refused to take the job on Loose Women!
"I was actually quite intimidated by Kaye, she seemed so much cleverer than me – and she thought I was an actress 'luvvie'."
But bosses managed to convince Nadia, 53, to give it a chance – and two decades on, they're closer than ever. Alongside continuing to work together on Loose Women, the pair have just released a joint guide for inexperienced cooks called Disaster Chef.
So what changed their minds? Nadia smiles: "We realised that we actually have a lot in common. We are both very hard workers, but we also like to laugh like drains and take the pi**. And we both like gin and tonics!"
Speaking of first impressions, we can't resist asking what Nadia and Kaye, 55, make of their fellow panellist, Katie Price.
The former glamour model, 39, has caused controversy since joining the show in 2015 – in one memorable episode, she was jokingly marched off the stage after making an explicit comment about using "spit" as a sexual lubricant.
But Nadia says everyone has been pleasantly surprised by the mum-of-five. She explains: "We are actually all very fond of her because she is nothing like what we thought she would be.
"We thought she might be stroppy, or a diva. Sometimes we see these things in the paper about her and we just say, 'Really?'"
She continues: "Honest to god, we haven't seen any of it. If anything, she's very self-deprecating. She really does put herself down. One of the issues is that people have such a strong image of her and maybe Katie feels she needs to live up to it."
It's been a particularly hard year for Katie, after her third husband Kieran Hayler, 30, confessed to an affair with their nanny (something she denied) and her mum Amy was diagnosed with a terminal lung condition.
Nadia adds: "It's one thing after the other for her. Every time she comes into the studio, we think, 'Oh, Katie!' She's having such a tough time - all our hearts go out to her."
That Katie is controversial on the show isn't a problem for Nadia and Kaye. In their opinion, any Loose Woman who only says things the viewers like is "doing something wrong".
Nadia says: "I always see it as a good thing when I've said something and it annoys people. Sometimes we'll start a morning meeting at Loose Women with, 'Right, we're gonna get some s**t for this…'"
Kaye adds: "If it's an opinion we honestly have and we can back it up, we're happy to take the backlash. That's our job!"
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