Loose Women is known for its heated – as well as its much lighter – debates but this week a conversation about the class system got voices raised on the programme. It came during Tuesday’s show (April 5) while Coleen Nolan, Carol McGiffin, Charlene White and Linda Robson were on the panel.
During the latest edition of the ITV lunchtime show, the question ‘Does social class still matter?’ was posed and the panellists soon found themselves disagreeing with one another.
Carol started by saying: “I’m really not bothered what class people are. I think it’s become more about money, I think people assume there’s a link between class and money. Which I don’t think there is because I think there are a hell of a lot of people who are upper class who are pretty skint and don’t have money.
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“If you’re born into an upper class family or a traditional upper class family, then you are always upper class. It doesn’t matter, you could be homeless on the street, you will still be an upper class person.”
“I believe because I was born into a proper working class family, it doesn’t matter where I am now or what I’m doing, I am still working class, I can’t shake that off, and I’m happy with that.”
But Charlene disagreed with Carol and argued “boundaries have become blurred where class is concerned,” in the last 20 to 30 years. She soon commented: “But it’s that middle class section that has changed most I think over the last few years, so you can be lower middle class which I do think is what you come into Carol. Then you’ve got the middle, middle class, and then you’ve got the upper middle class, which someone like Boris Johnson would come into…”
Carol then interrupted, saying: “What you’re saying is if you earn a lot of money and you change what you do for a living, you can become middle class,” to which Charlene replied: “Yes of course,” before Carol told her: “No… that’s just social climbing.”
The pair then started to speak over each other before Coleen, who is from Blackpool, shared her own experiences of being looked down on. The former The Nolans star explained: “It still happens, I’ve walked in and because of the way I speak and where I come from, especially in the North, they have looked down on me and gone, ‘she’s a bit too common .'”
But Carol didn’t agree and soon began talking about Coleen and played down her co-star’s experiences, saying: “No, I don’t believe it,” to which Coleen quickly hit back: “Well you should believe it because I’ see heard it.”
And Loose Women viewers were equally divided over the exchange.
“Who is Charlene to tell Carol she is ‘lower middle class’ #LooseWomen,” @bestchester276 tweeted.
@xraebradyx commented: “Most this panel is so out of touch its insane. How can you claim to be working class and a billionaire #LooseWomen.”
“Absolutely agree @McGiff that is exactly what working class is #spoton #LooseWomen,” @katsarlee shared.
While @JDL1010 commented: “@CharleneWhite giving #LooseWomen an education on working class, Carol is in denial and dismissive.”
“Carol’s forgotten that she’s being paid to be on daytime TV. She can comfortably afford her bills and mortgage/rent now. She’s absolutely no longer working class. If she wants to claim it so badly, give up what she has now and enjoy the struggle with us. #LooseWomen,” @MiniSotaAnu added.
George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.