Des­per­ate Carol Mcgif­fin

Carol’s tough year isn’t about to get any eas­ier

Woman's Own - - Woman’s Own Welcome -

It’s no se­cret that Carol Mcgif­fin has had an ex­tremely tough

year. Af­ter she was given the all-clear from her breast can­cer bat­tle Carol, 57, was de­liv­ered the huge blow of finding out that her younger sis­ter, Tracy, had ter­mi­nal can­cer. Just four months later, in Jan­uary, Tracy trag­i­cally passed away – leav­ing Carol dev­as­tated.

Now, friends close to the star tell Woman’s Own that the for­mer

Loose Women pan­el­list’s grief has seen her come to a cross­roads – both pro­fes­sion­ally and per­son­ally.

Enough al­ready

Our source tells us, ‘With ev­ery­thing that’s hap­pened in Carol’s life lately, in­clud­ing can­cer and be­reave­ment, she’s des­per­ate for some­thing pos­i­tive to cling on to.’

Fans had hoped this could be her wed­ding to fi­ancé of eight years, 35-year-old Mark Cas­sidy.

Af­ter all, in 2015 Carol said, ‘Next year means two things – the big wed­ding and the big house move.’ But more than two years later, she’s yet to set a wed­ding date, and friends say it will still be a while be­fore her and Mark walk down the aisle.

‘A wed­ding would be per­fect for Carol right now, but the prob­lems are twofold,’ our source con­tin­ues.

‘There is a lack of in­ter­est from Mark, who con­tin­ues to treat

mar­riage as a purely the­o­ret­i­cal idea. Mean­while, Carol has un­der­stand­ably be­come dis­tracted by what she’s been go­ing through re­cently.’

Age-gap is­sues?

But it’s the cou­ple’s 22-year age gap that friends fear is the real rea­son be­hind their no-show wed­ding.

‘The age gap be­tween Carol and Mark is be­com­ing ever more ob­vi­ous. The fact is they have quite an im­ma­ture re­la­tion­ship. They get drunk a lot of the time, and he spends a sig­nif­i­cant chunk of his life with his mates, do­ing lads’ stuff,’ our in­sider con­tin­ues.

‘The wed­ding hasn’t hap­pened be­cause sup­pos­edly they haven’t had time – but in the mean­time, Mark’s man­aged to squeeze in trips to Aus­tralia, Greece, all over the place.’

On top of this, the cou­ple have re­port­edly been ar­gu­ing be­hind closed doors. Our source says, ‘They have had some shock­ing rows when Carol is drunk, but she al­ways ends up for­get­ting when she wakes up be­cause she has ter­ri­ble hang­overs. Mark has to go to work, so he gets out of her hair and it all blows over.’ Pre­vi­ously open­ing up about how they only ar­gue when they’re drunk, Carol has said, ‘The only time we do is if we’re un­der some sort of stress or when we’re drunk, but then we for­get about it the next day.’ In Au­gust, Carol spoke about her drink­ing habits fur­ther when she ad­mit­ted she was drink­ing more than ever – up to two bot­tles of wine a night.

She can­didly ex­plained, ‘[I’ve been drink­ing] nearly as much as ev­ery­one thinks, and nearly ev­ery day. Ev­ery time I get drunk, I say I’m never drink­ing again, but I al­ways do.’ Carol con­tin­ued, ‘I can still down two bot­tles a night. And that’s af­ter din­ner, es­pe­cially on a hot night when my part­ner Mark and I are sit­ting out­side!’

Out of the spot­light

Mean­while, fans have also been call­ing for her to make a TV re­turn. Carol’s been no­tice­ably ab­sent from our screens since quit­ting Loose Women af­ter go­ing into the Celebrity Big Brother house in 2013. In­stead of be­ing on TV daily, Carol has only made a few ap­pear­ances on Big Brother’s spin-off show, Bit on the Side, and was even snubbed from the Loose Women birth­day celebrations, some­thing she was left up­set about. Our source adds, ‘Carol was un­der­stand­ably bit­ter about be­ing left out, and has spo­ken about it at ev­ery op­por­tu­nity to her close group of friends. Whether she’ll be back on screen in the com­ing months is yet to be seen, but pals are con­vinced she’d like to be.’ Fin­gers crossed she’ll be back with a bang soon – and maybe even wear­ing a wed­ding ring! Af­ter all life’s thrown at Carol in re­cent months, she def­i­nitely de­serves it.

‘The age gap is be­com­ing ever more ob­vi­ous’

Los­ing her sis­ter was a big blow for Carol

Back in the days of Loose Women

In­sid­ers worry that Mark and Carol party too much

Could there be wed­ding bells soon?

Emo­tions run high on CBB

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