‘We’re not ready to finish’ Linda Robson’s plea before Pauline Quirke row claims

Birds of a Feather: Lesley Joseph says Quirke was 'missed'

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Linda Robson, 62, spoke with Express.co.uk at the beginning of the month about if Birds of A Feather will return to screens as well as discussing co-star Pauline Quirke. The Loose Women panellist admitted that “people missed” the actress during the Christmas special, however claimed it was completely her decision to leave the show.

Obviously people miss Pauline

Linda Robson

The revelation comes after a source reported last weekend that Pauline had left the show following a series of arguments with her co-stars.

Opening up on the future of the series after the success of the festive episode, Linda shared: “We are waiting to hear, it did really really well and everyone loved it. 

“Obviously people miss Pauline, but we have to respect that it was her choice not to do it anymore. 

“She wants to concentrate on her academy. So when they asked us [the producers], we were like, ‘Yeah we would still like to do it’.

“We’re not ready to finish. I think it worked really well as they did a good script, and we did the best we could with it,” she added.

However, an insider has since suggested there are “real and tense issues”, which is why Pauline was absent from the show’s 30th-anniversary show in 2019 and the latest instalment.

Pauline and Linda play bickering sisters Sharon and Tracey in the ITV sitcom that first launched in 1989.

The show ran for eight years before being rebooted in 2014, and now makes periodic specials that update fans on their lives.

Pauline’s absence from the Christmas special meant her character, Sharon, was written out of the story as being “stuck on a COVID cruise”.

Also starring in the show is Lesley Joseph, 75, who appears as snooty neighbour Dorien.

However, according to the Mail On Sunday, things were difficult between Pauline and Linda.

“Both Linda and Lesley were saddened that Pauline didn’t want to return to make a 30th-anniversary episode,” the source told the paper.

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“Linda and Pauline used to be very close, less so Pauline and Lesley.

“Pauline wasn’t approached about the Christmas special.

“The atmosphere on the set had previously become difficult, there were real and tense issues,” the insider added.

Addressing the situation behind Pauline’s absence, a spokesperson for ITV said: “Unfortunately, Pauline Quirke will not be taking part as she’s stepping back from acting to focus on her 200 nationwide performing arts academies.”

The show has been hugely popular since its inception, and Linda believes it is due to the programme challenging onscreen female stereotypes and tackling health issues.

“It challenged stereotypes because we dealt with really serious subjects as well, like testicular cancer, like abortion,” she explained.

“We also tackled skin cancer as well. One in three women now develops some form of cancer. We did things no one has ever done in a sitcom before. 

“They would never do in America what we do. You know sticking HRT patches everywhere, what real women do. I think real women love seeing that as well. “

Express.co.uk previously contacted representatives for Pauline and Linda for comment. 

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