Carol McGiffin has broken her silence on her departure from ITV’s Loose Women.

The 63-year-old presenter - who first appeared on the ITV daytime show when it launched in 2000 and returned in 2018 after a five-year break - hasn't been seen on screen for a while.

She admitted feeling “upset” about her decision to leave after being upset about her contract offer from ITV.

Carol told Best magazine: "I feel quite upset about it, if I'm honest, because although it is my decision, I felt like it was one I was being forced to make. No one in their right mind would have signed that contract. And I can't see a way back from it."

Daily Echo: Carol McGiffinCarol McGiffin (Image: Bang)

Carol’s departure comes as ITV has been hit by changes to tax legislation by HMRC.

ITV must now decide whether a role is employed or self-employed for tax purposes from April 2021.

While some panellists on daytime shows continue to work freelance and will remain categorised as self-employed, others have been moved to a PAYE contract and will pay 40% tax on earnings between £50,271 and £150,000, rather than corporation tax at 19%.

ITV said the assessments are being carried out on a case-by-case basis.

A spokesperson said: "ITV will not comment on or disclose details of individual contracts but all ITV contracts comply with the relevant external legislation."

Several of her 'Loose Women' stars have replied to a post sharing her story on Instagram and admitted they are sad to see her go.

Frankie Bridge and Denise Welch both replied saying they are "gutted".

Charlene White echoed their sentiment and added: "I really miss you, and am so gutted xx"

Brenda Edwards commented: "Carol, I always enjoy when you are on as we have such a laugh, but you of course must always do what is best for you! I really hope I get to see you again love you lots lovely lady. Keep Smiling."

And Nadia Sawalha said: "Miss you smelly poo! Even though we disagreed on most things you’ve always made me laugh my head off!

"As I’ve always said thank god we weren’t at school together it would have been #carnage !! Big hugs x"