Loose Women: Former Coronation Street star Shibna Gulati (Sunita Alahan) joins panel!

In wake of her dramatic exit from award-winning ITV soap, Coronation Street, actress Shobna Gulati has been announced as a new panellist on daytime chat show, Loose Women.

Corrie fans will know that Shobna, who had played cheating wife Sunita Alahan in the soap since 2001, is set to have her character killed off in the explosive Rovers Return fire in an upcoming, much-anticipated storyline.

The reason behind the fire is to rebuild a more suitable set for the iconic pub when the show moves to its new home of MediaCity UK in Salford Quays next year, and with it the lives of Sunita and at least one other, not yet known, character are set to perish.

But, despite expressing her sadness at her time on the show coming to an end after her last day of filming, Shobna has secured a role on the highly popular women’s panel show, alongside Loose Women regulars Carol Vorderman, Andrea McLean, Denise Welch, Sherrie Hewson, Carol McGiffin, Lisa Maxwell, Jane McDonald, Sally Lindsay, Janet Street Porter and Linda Robson.

Shobna is reported in the Sun newspaper as saying of the move: “I’m delighted to be joining the Loose Women team. It’s a show I have watched and loved for years.”

Meanwhile, Loose Women Executive Producer Sharon Powers added: “We’re thrilled that Shobna will become a Loose Woman — she is a very exciting addition to the team.”

Shobna, who filmed her last scenes as Sunita Alahan in the award-winning ITV soap at the beginning of this month, has recently had to fend off disgusting racist trolls on social networking site Twitter, after her departure from Coronation Street was announced.

This isn’t the first time that the actress has been targeted by racial abuse on the site, with her even having to delete her own Twitter account last year to combat the constant harassment, saying at the time: “It’s nasty, abusive and scary. It throws you off balance.”

But this time the star, who filmed her final scene with fellow Corrie leaver Natalie Gumede (Kirsty Soames), hit back at the ignorant haters.

One sick tweeter said after Shobna mention her last day, and the cupcakes she had provided for her cast-mates:

“Thank God d Paki’s leavin… Hate her.”

To which Shobna responded by retweeting his tweet to all of her 18,000 followers along with the comment: “Ok tweet ta dees hes all yours racist”.

This was backed by a torrent of support from her former cast mates, who all took to the site to express their sadness at Shobna’s departure after her final day of filming.

Kate Ford, who plays Tracy Barlow, tweeted: “@ShobnaGulati will never forget those early days when we shared a dressing room and the fun we had, remember the wall of shame ha.luv u.”

Catherine Tyldesley, who plays Eva Price, added: “I dont want @ShobnaGulati and @NatalieGumede to go 🙁 . The cobbles are totes emosh today :-(.”

Sally Dynevor, who plays Sally Webster, tweeted: “@ShobnaGulati love my beautiful cupcake . Will miss you so much . You are such an amazing woman . Go girl go . Xxxx.”

Georgia May Foote, who plays Katy Armstrong, added: “Sad day on the cobbles today, we say goodbye to two amazing ladies! @ShobnaGulati and @NatalieGumede ;(( x.”

Kym Lomas, the Street’s Michelle O’Connor, wrote: “It’s a sad day today at work @ShobnaGulati.”

Watch Shobna’s Loose Women appearance from last year in the clip below: