Gwen Stefani can't wait to work with her ''best friend'' Blake Shelton on 'The Voice' again.

The 49-year-old singer - who was previously a coach on seasons seven, nine and 12 of the show - is returning to the programme in place of Adam Levine and though she's sad she won't be spending time with the Maroon 5 frontman during filming, she's excited about being on the panel with her partner again.

She told People magazine: ''To think that [Adam's] not going to be there is like bittersweet. And plus, like, being between him and Blake, the amount of laughter, I would have to like stop and massage my face, because it would hurt.

''But it's going to be fun, it's going to be exciting. I mean, Blake's my best friend, so I get to hang out with him at work.

''I wanted to come back so bad. I mean, the show is so fun.''

And Gwen admitted she and Blake - who will be joined on the panel by Kelly Clarkson and John Legend - have been having ''pillow talk'' about their plans for the upcoming season of the singing competition.

She told E! News: ''We're starting to have pillow talk and we're discussing [the strategy].

''Every season I've been on it, it's been a different version of being with Blake. So he's like, 'It's still gotta be competition' and I was like, 'You got it.' ''

While she's delighted to be back on the show, the No Doubt frontwoman admitted she was ''shocked'' to be asked.

She said: ''I'm so, so excited about it and so shocked. Every season that I've been back, it's been a shock 'cause they kind of wait till the last minute [to tell you]. I guess they really want you to be like, 'Please, take me.'''