Saira Khan says she received threats for discussing taboo subjects on Loose Women as she shares decision to quit

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Saira Khan has opened up on her decision to leave Loose Women and revealed how she has received threats and abuse for talking about taboo subjects on the programme.

Saira, who shot to fame on the first series of The Apprentice in 2005, reveals her contract on the ITV daytime show is up and she looks at her exit from the show as a “clean break.”

Speaking to The Sunday Mirror’s notebook magazine, Saira said: “I joined Loose Women to make that panel representative. I felt like me joining that panel was a powerful representation and a move towards representing modern, British society.

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"For me, in the last five years, I’ve shared and spoken about all aspects of my life. I came to that show with a lot of baggage and that show gave me a platform to share. I feel so grateful Loose Women gave me a space to heal and come to terms with some of my life experiences."

The 50 year old said she has always been upfront and open on the popular show, which Andrea McLean recently left after 13 years.

She also revealed how she received threats and abuse for discussing taboo subjects on the ITV panelist show.

Saira said: “At times I really put my neck on the line and got threats and abuse from the [Asian] community when I talked about taboo subjects. I really wanted to do that for the programme and I’ve had so many women from my background who’ve said, “Thank you so much,” and I feel like I’ve done my duty there.

"I want to offer my seat as a Loose Woman to another woman who can use that platform to heal and share and for people to understand a different perspective. I never felt that seat was ever going to be permanent, I’m a businesswoman and I always wanted to move on. I would love to see a gay or transgender woman take my seat. I’m leaving that show as diverse as it’s ever been.

"I’ve been feeling like that for the last two years, but I didn’t want to leave, because that representation wouldn’t have been there. We’ve now got three other women of colour on the panel and I feel like I’m leaving it in a really healthy position."

On her plans for the future away from Loose Women, Saira explained that she has three TV shows coming out next year, as well as expanding on her businesses.

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Saira has not told her fellow panellists about her departure, but thinks they will understand as she has been thinking about the move for a while.

The Dancing on Ice star said: "I don’t want a big drama and I make my own decisions. I’ve talked through it with my husband and kids and they said they’re right behind me. When it comes out I’ll phone them up and I think they’ll understand. But I want to announce it on my terms."

She added: “I don’t think they’ll be shocked – I’ve been thinking about it for over two years. And a lot of people know I’m a businesswoman and I want to be known as a fantastic businesswoman and not a TV presenter. I still want to do TV – and I’ve got some programmes coming out next year.”

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