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Welch pictured outside the ITV studio last night

ITV’s Loose Women stalwart, Denise Welch, has issued an apology for raping a 57- year- old ex-footballer live on-air in yesterday’s edition of the programme.

Welch, 85, subjected Liverpool and England legend Barnes, to a prolonged and brutal attack, during which her visibly upset co-presenters repeatedly threw buckets of water over her and made a number of failed attempts to pull her off.

In a statement to reporters from outside her home in Middlesborough, Welch said: “I should like to apologise for raping Mr Barnes live on air yesterday.

“It was a spur of the moment thing and not something I’m particularly proud of.

“I just hope my many fans will stand by me, and that I’ll be allowed to get on with presenting Loose Women for at least a couple of weeks or until my case comes up in court”

This latest incident comes just a few months after her actor ex-husband, Tim Healy , 92, was charged with lewd conduct in a public place after the Auf Wiedersehen Pet star was spotted masturbating over the sweets in his local Shell garage by the girl at the cash desk.