For 21 years Loose Women has been a figurehead for female-focused programming.
Providing topical opinions, advice and gossip, Loose Women features a range of celebrity female panelists and invited guests. The show has recently been praised for having a panel made up of all Black presenters for the first time ever.
Never in the popular talk show’s long history has Loose Women had an all-male panel. Now, for one day, at least, they will once more be changing things. This Thursday will see the ITV show presented by JLS’ Marvin Humes, Love Island narrator and comedian Iain Stirling, radio presenter Roman Kemp and singer Ronan Keating.
Why is Loose Women allowing male panelists now?
This special male-centric panel has been invited in as part of Loose Women’s Stand by Your Man campaign. It is coordinated with International Men’s Day and the campaign focuses on male mental health.
Aside from chatting to Oscar-winning Hollywood actor Matthew McConaughey, Thursday’s panelists will discuss a range of topical issues. Humes has reportedly discussed how, “with everything going on in the world now, there’s never been a more important time for men to open up about their mental health.”
He added that he was excited to be anchoring the first ever Loose Men. Humes went on to talk of how he’s looking forward to “raising awareness of the importance of men opening up like women do.”
Why don’t men talk about their mental health?
Each of the Loose Men panelists hope that they will be able to convince other men to tackle their concerns. Stirling spoke of how “men typically find it harder to discuss their anxieties.”
According to the Mental Health Foundation’s website, around one in eight men has a common mental health problem such as depression, anxiety, panic disorder or obsessive compulsive disorder.
They also report that ‘men are less likely to access psychological therapies than women’. Only 36% of referrals to NHS talking therapies are for men.
The foundation also suggests a possible reason why. It could be that it’s the traditional expectation that men are the strong breadwinners that makes it more difficult for men to reach out for help.
How will Loose Men help?
Stirling hopes that this special panel can “inspire those watching to talk about their feelings” instead of keeping things “bottled up”.
This is not the first time that men have featured on the popular ITV show. Loose Women had previously had Sun columnist Judge Rinder and politician Ed Balls on. Even Stacey Solomon’s partner Joe Swash appeared as an honorary Loose Men.
However this will be the first time Loose Women has been taken over by an entirely male panel.
They have big shoes to fill, but we look forward to hearing what they have to say this Thursday.