Denise Welch made an emotional return to Loose Women as the show paid tribute to her late dad.
The TV star was back on the panel on Monday (November 15) for the first time since her dad Vin Welch passed away in September.
Denise said she hadn’t “felt ready” to return until now and she became ill shortly after her dad’s death.
The Hollyoaks star announced the heartbreaking news on Instagram after regularly posting updates about her dad.
Sharing a photo of her hand clasped around her father’s, Denise shared the upsetting news that he passed away, aged 84.
On Monday’s ITV show, Ruth Langsford asked how Denise was and she replied: “I’m ok, I didn’t feel ready to come back until now and obviously this show was very respectful of that.”
She added: “It’s weird because last time I was here I was asking you all to celebrate with me because Dad, after a long illness this year – the first time he’d been poorly in his life – I spent a lot of this year in hospital with him.
“He’d made such a valiant recovery, we loved him back to health we thought. And then he got what started as temperature, he had some paracetamol and it went down and you don’t get overly panicky about that.
“But unfortunately he had to go into hospital, he was furious he had to go back in.”
Denise said her dad had been living with pulmonary fibrosis but he contracted pneumonia which she said previously was “more than even he could take.”
She said the family were all with him when he passed, adding: “I think that Dad didn’t know he was going.”
She added tearfully: “He knew we were there and he thought Lincoln was upstairs waiting in the car for him to come and indeed Lincoln spent 12 hours in the car park…
“It’s been very, very tough. My sister and I have been a strength for each other. The kids thought dad was going to come back… they didn’t believe it until it happened.”
Speaking about Vin’s funeral, Denise said: “When he died, Matthew said, ‘We have to give grandpa a send-off, we have to give him a party that he would be furious at not being at.’
“And that’s exactly what we did. He would’ve been so peed off he wasn’t there.”
She added: “Everyone came in crazy suits and colour and sparkles, and we had our friend Louis who does a brilliant Frank Sinatra show. Dad loved Frank Sinatra, so Louis did some singing.
“We had a band… it was a party. We’ve had so many people say to us, ‘We’ve been invited to many celebrations of life, this is a proper celebration of a life lived and you girls have been part of that life lived. He loved this show [Loose Women].”
The show they played out a montage of Vin’s Loose Women best bits as an emotional Denise wiped away tears.
After the VT Denise commented: “I was lucky to have him for 63 years… Lincoln loved him like a Dad. We’re very lucky we’re from such a close family and have lovely friends.”
The actress was diagnosed with chronic bronchitis following her dad’s death.
While she recovered in time for the funeral, she contracted Covid.