25 MARCH 2009

A decade after she first appeared on TV screens as the host of This Morning, bubbly Fern Britton has decided to move on from the flagship daytime show.

"After ten years with This Morning, I have decided to leave the show at the end of the current series," the popular 51-year-old confirms. "I will present my last show on 17 July, my birthday, which somehow seems appropriate".

"The This Morning team is simply the best, and I will miss them all very much. But I am looking forward to the freedom of exploring other things to do, and also to spending more time with my wonderful family," she added.

Hot favourites to replace the Ealing-born star, who was known for her on-air fits of giggling with co-host Phillip Scofield, include Ruth Langsford – the partner of Eamonn Holmes, who has presented the show before – and former GMTV anchor Fiona Phillips.

After ten years fronting This Morning, Fern Britton - pictured with co-host Phillip Scofield - has decided to leave the show